After two heart-in-throat, grab-the-oxygen-mask sessions, the biggest uncertainty in Wall Street investors' minds Friday was apparently about their blood pressure.
First of all, they're beat. Wednesday and Thursday's were the third and fourth highest-volume sessions in NASDAQ history. In two days, investors ran off a cliff, bounced right back up, and then climbed a mountain. Dow and NASDAQ swung nearly 500 points each and plumbed lows not seen since spring. Alan Greenspan spoke about the economy (good news he's convinced that everything he's done will work out fine) and most of the biggest names in tech stocks reported earnings.
And with all the world watching on Friday whither, boys? Bounce or bottom? the Streeters punted. Some solid earnings from eBay, backing up a reassuring report on PC sales from Microsoft after the bell Thursday, floated pretty much everything tech up another couple of points after Thursday's buying hootenanny.
Next week, the shoals of not only more earnings reports but economic reports on inflation, labor and the GDP all await investors. The coast is not clear; the path is not known. With investors looking into a cloudy 2001 crystal ball, they're itchy and impressionable. Some days that means heart-stopping volatility; on Friday, volume remained robust and the buying was steady, pushing the NASDAQ up 64 and the Dow up 83 by closing time. But after this week, a lot of investors would still rather breathe into a paper bag than place any big bets on the direction of tech.
Besides, they've got a Subway Series to worry about.