May 4, 2001

Open Source stock report: Stocks continue slow climb

Author: JT Smith

- By Dan Berkes -
In spite of Thursday's mad cash grab, the markets continued their ascent. Microsoft's fear-mongering a "non-event," and Red Hat gets sued for its IPO -- again.After a bumpy ride on Thursday, Wall Street settled down, allowing the major stock indexes to post a few modest gains. The Nasdaq continued its upward trend to close at 2,191.52, up 116 points from last Friday. The Dow climbed to 10.951.24, posting a 141-point gain from last week's close.

Skittish investors looking to make a profit on long-held tech stocks caused the market to shake, rattle, and roll on Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq bore the brunt of the attack, closing at 2,220.60 on Wednesday, then falling to 2,146.20 at the close of business the next day. The Dow's decline wasn't qute as steep, dropping 80 points to 10,796 on Thursday.

"Bargain-hunting investors aren't going to forget the lessons of the past nine months," said James Philburn, an independent market analyst. "If you picked up stock at $1.50, then you might think that a $2 jump in price is as good as it's going to get. I think the market is going to continue a slow and steady climb, and so will the companies that hang on. Buyers will eventually get used to hanging on to their stocks again."

Friday's Nasdaq and Dow gains came on the Street's expectations that the Federal Reserve Bank will once again lower interest rates. This anticipation folows the release of a U.S. government report on April's unemployment numbers, noting that more than 200,000 workers lost their jobs last month.

It didn't appear that investors were much swayed by the Microsoft attack on Open Source, delivered this Thursday in New York by senior vice president Craig Mundie. Most Open Source stocks continued a slow but steady climb. "Other than a few buyers who haven't done their homework, the Mundie speech was really a non-event. You have to wonder how longer Microsoft can get away with trashing other companies before it starts affecting Microsoft's bottom line," said Philburn.

Here's how selected Open Source and related stocks did this week:

Company Name Symbol 5/4 Close 4/27 Close
Apple AAPL 25.75 26.20
Caldera CALD 2.04 1.87
IBM IBM 115.86 116.20
Red Hat RHAT 6.41 5.26
Sun Microsystems SUNW 19.75 17.38
VA Linux Systems LNUX 4.88 2.87
Wind River Systems WIND 25.52 27.84

Lawsuit watch
In a story at Yahoo, we learn that another class action lawsuit has been filed against Red Hat. According to the blurb, the lawsuit contends that Red Hat and its officers and directors provided "materially false and misleading information in SEC filings." The lawsuit is part of a gold rush of claims against several tech companies that had IPOs in the same time frame and used underwriter Credit Suisse First Boston (including NewsForge owner VA Linux). CSFB is being investigated for how it handled sales of stock in those IPOs.


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