Skip to main content

The market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST.



Alan Greenspan

begins his semiannual


testimony on the state of the economy at 10. Now what do you suppose the market will do between those events?

You'd probably guess not all that much. And yet the power of yesterday's broad-based move was enough that it has put something of a bid on stocks this morning. The (

merger Monday, powered by highflying Internet stocks and the tech-heavy


) rally had, for many, all the hallmarks of a breakout. Jitters about what the chairman may say can slow things down, but it can't stop them.

But what the chairman tells the


will likely color things for days to come. Worries about what the Fed will do with interest rates have kept the market mired. But despite strong growth and low unemployment, inflation is still nowhere in sight. Sure, the Fed's next move may be a tightening. But most economists don't expect that to happen anytime soon. If Greenspan's body language supports that view, it could be off to the races.

"It looks like we broke out of a trading range on the upside," said Bill Allyn, head of block trading at


. "Unless something unforeseen happens at the Humphrey-Hawkins, it looks like it will continue to go up. All the internals are there for a stronger market."

At 9 a.m., the

S&P 500

was up 3.8, more than 3 above fair value and indicating good strength at the open. Treasury traders were sitting on their hands ahead of Greenspan. The 30-year was off 8/32 to 98 7/32, lifting the yield to 5.37%.

Japanese stocks saw another good day, compliments of yen weakness and Wall Street strength. The


added 234.98, or 1.7%, to 14,500.65.

Hong Kong saw a relief rally on the news that market heavyweight


1998 results, though poor, were in line with expectations. The

Hang Seng

climbed 204.65, or 2.2%, to 9433.99.

European markets were on a tear. In Frankfurt, the


was up 168.28, or 3.5%, to 5013.46. In Paris, the


was up 60.38, or 1.5%, to 4226.24. And in London, the


was up 108.1, or 1.8%, to 6178.

Tuesday's Wake-Up Watchlist


Brian Louis

Staff Reporter

  • Consob, the Italian stock market watchdog, yesterday declared invalid Olivetti's $58 billion takeover bid for Telecom Italiaundefined. Olivetti, however, has vowed to press on with its effort.
  • Adelphia Communicationsundefined is acquiring FrontierVision Partners for about a billion dollars in cash and stock, plus $1.11 billion in debt.
  • Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting, which is 40% owned by Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS) - Get Free Report, is in talks with France's Canal Plus about a merger that could create a television superpower in Europe, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • BancBoston Robertson Stephens' 16th annual Technology Conference continues today. Please see's stories on the conference . In other news (Earnings estimates are from First Call):
  • America Westundefined said it's no longer considering acquisition offers from other airlines. The stock surged last week on market chatter that United Airlines parent UAL (UAL) - Get Free Report made a takeover offer for the company. looked into the story last night.
  • CalEnergy (CE) - Get Free Report said it is selling 50% of its ownership interests in CE Generation, the holding company for 14 of CalEnergy's U.S. generating facilities, to an affiliate of El Paso Energy (EPG) , for $259.6 million.
  • Columbia/HCA (COL) posted fourth-quarter operating earnings of 4 cents a share, far short of the 16-analyst view of earnings of 23 cents, but reversing the year-ago loss from continuing operations of 63 cents.
  • Dollar General (DG) - Get Free Report posted fourth-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, beating the 13-analyst estimate of 33 cents and the year-ago 30 cents.
  • Home Depot (HD) - Get Free Report posted fourth-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, beating the 24-analyst view by a penny and up from the year-ago 20 cents.
  • Limited (LTD) posted fourth-quarter adjusted operating earnings of $1.07 a share, in line with the 18-analyst view and up from the year-ago 96 cents.
  • Influential analyst Mary Meeker at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter had positive things to say about Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Free Report today, CNBC reported.
  • Nextel Communicationsundefined posted a fourth-quarter loss of $1.43 a share, worse than the 18-analyst estimate of a loss of $1.41.
  • Nordstromundefined posted a 5.4% drop in fourth-quarter same-store sales and an in-line earnings report yesterday. The retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, matching the 20-analyst estimate and topping the year-ago 38 cents.
  • U S West (USW) said earnings for 1999 will be hurt by a plan to spend $300 million to eliminate network bottlenecks. The company said the move comes in response to aggressive moves by competitors, including AT&T's (T) - Get Free Report plans to enter four of U S West's major markets -- Denver; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City and Seattle -- by year's end. Previously, the company had committed to achieving 12% to 14% earnings per share growth. Now earnings growth will more likely be around 10%.