Markets & Stocks
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Wall St. sees early threat
graphic February 4, 2002: 8:58 a.m. ET

Tyco report, Enterasys delay could help make for a lower open.
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    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - U.S. stocks looked set to start the week lower Monday as new worries about whether companies are keeping unpleasant financial news from investors threatened to send the major indexes lower.

    Early indications point to a lower opening for the major indexes.

    Shares of Tyco fell $2.13 to $33.50 in before-hours trading after the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Tyco spent $8 billion in the past three years on more than 700 acquisitions that were never made public. Company officials told the paper their disclosures had been adequate, and that it didn't disclose details on hundreds of small deals because they weren't material given the conglomerate's size.

    The collapse of Enron late last year has made investors nervous about what companies may not be saying about possible liabilities.

    Enterasys (ETS: Research, Estimates) shares fell early Monday after the maker of network communications delayed release of its fourth-quarter results to assess details of a $4 million sales contract.

    As for Enron, former CEO Kenneth Lay said he would not appear before a Senate Commerce Committee Monday after his lawyer said lawmakers already had presumed his guilt. An internal Enron report released over the weekend portrayed the company as weakened by improper financial transactions and extensive personal deals by top executives.

    The Dow Jones industrial average starts Monday at 9,907.26 after dropping 12.74 points Friday. The Nasdaq composite index is at 1,911.24 following a 22.79-point skid, while the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index starts at 1,122.20, having fallen 8 points.

    The Nasdaq is 2 percent lower on the year while the Dow is off 1.1 percent

    Asian stocks followed their U.S. counterparts lower, with Tokyo's Nikkei index at its lowest level since October following declines by banking and tech stocks there. European bourses started higher then turned lower on earning concerns there.

    Treasury prices edged higher in early trading, with the 10-year note yield slipping to 4.95 percent from 4.98 percent late Friday. The dollar slipped versus the euro and was little changed against the yen. Brent oil futures fell 22 cents to $19.76 a barrel in London.

    Microsoft (MSFT: down $1.05 to $62.66, Research, Estimates) Chairman Bill Gates said Sunday he sees no global economic recovery this year, countering a budding groundswell of optimism tied to economic data pointing to a fast rebound.

    Microsoft stock fell 76 cents to $61.90 early Monday. (PCLN: up $0.02 to $6.32, Research, Estimates), the online travel company, earned a penny a share in the fourth quarter, topping forecasts for breakeven. But Priceline cut sales targets going forward and the company's stock fell 32 cents to $6 early Monday.

    Quarterly results are due Monday from telecom services provider Williams Communications (WCG: Research, Estimates). Williams Communications' continued ties to energy trader Williams Cos. (WMB: Research, Estimates) have caused the former parent to delay reporting its own financial results.

    Managed-care company Humana (HUM: Research, Estimates) said it earned a fourth-quarter profits of 21 cents a share, topping forecasts by a penny. Humana stock rose 43 cents to $12.88 Friday.

    Drug maker Elan (ELN: Research, Estimates), whose shares have lost a third of their value this year, met forecasts with a profit of 56 cents a share. Elan rose $1.86 to $29.95.

    As for the stock markets, two recent developments that have had an uncanny, if coincidental ,ability to predict the future came up short. The markets fell in January, a month that often has presaged the rest of the year.

    And the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI Sunday. A win by an original member of the American Football League historically has been bad for stocks. graphic


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