Why Cisco's Sinking the Dow This Morning

The stock market is stuck in a waiting game as investors wait for a resolution to the Cypriot banking crisis. In the meantime, the U.S. economy appears to be continuing its slow but steady recovery, although pressures from China and elsewhere have started to show impacts on major U.S. companies and could pose a longer-term threat to the bull market. Weighing these countervailing factors, investors chose to be cautious, and as of 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) had fallen 75 points, roughly in line with the broader market.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) led the Dow lower, falling 3.5% after getting downgraded by a Wall Street analyst. Last night's bad news from Oracle (NYSE: ORCL  ) is likely having collateral damage on Cisco, as Oracle reported a generally weak environment across its various tech segments, sending its shares down 9%. Although Oracle's key software segment isn't something Cisco has a lot of exposure to, both companies are trying to broaden their product offerings to compete more directly with each other. In particular, a big decline in Oracle's hardware systems may foretell problems ahead for Cisco's own hardware division.

Outside the Dow, SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU  ) has climbed almost 6% on news that it completed the sale of five of its retail grocery chains to private-equity firm Cerberus. In addition, Symphony Investors said its tender offer for SUPERVALU shares had attracted tenders for roughly 5.5% of the grocery company's outstanding shares -- far less than the 30% maximum under the offer. Moving forward, SUPERVALU will have to find a way to grow without some of its most reliable brands behind it, including Albertson's and Jewel-Osco.

Finally, Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS  ) has risen 5.8% after it released data from its Phase 1 study of children with spinal muscular atrophy and the effect of its drug ISIS-SMN Rx in treating the disease. Reporting a favorable safety profile and signs of significant increases in muscle function, Isis is confident about the future development prospects for the drug, for which Isis hopes to start phase 2 and 3 programs for infants later this year and for older children in the first half of 2014.

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  • Report this Comment On March 21, 2013, at 11:14 AM, rightislight wrote:

    Have you even looked at Cisco and Orcale's respective hardware businesses? To suggest that weakness in Oracle's patchwork quilt of unconnected second class hardware is somehow related to what Cisco is doing only serves to demonstrate Dan's lack of understanding of the market.

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