16 January 2004, 12:29  Wall St slumps on tech sell-off

Wall Street stocks slumped in early deals today, pressured by weakness in the tech sector as investors voiced disappointment over the not-as-good-as-hoped for quarterly results and forecasts. The bearish mood was somewhat tempered by the surprise release of IBM's quarterly earnings, which came in stronger than expected.
Also, a merger that will united JP Morgan Chase and Bank One, news of which broke late Wednesday, triggered heavy action among financial services stocks. By mid-morning, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 40.89 points at 10,497.48. The Nasdaq composite shed 19.97 points to 2,091.16.
After the close Wednesday, JP Morgan said it has agreed to buy BankOne in a stock deal worth around USD58bn. Bank One's stock surged more than 11pc, while JP Morgan was little changed. IBM reported earnings today, several days earlier than planned. Big Blue earned USD1.56 per share, up from USD1.34 a year earlier and above projections. It also gave a bullish outlook for 2004. Its stocks surged nearly 4pc. //www.fxcentre.com

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