Bulls Not Off Their Equity Feed - TheStreet

Bulls Not Off Their Equity Feed

The broad market continues its struggle to catch up to the tech and biotech sectors.
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The market remains at

Defcon 1.

The market: Join the discussion on

TSC

Message Boards.

News that hackers have added

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

and the freshly public

Buy.com

(BUYX)

to their collective kill list isn't doing much to rattle investors, whose heads were filled all last night with visions of 5%

productivity growth, contained labor costs and, of course,

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

.

Early indications are that the market's weeklong rally will continue this morning, though with less vigor than it seemed it would an hour ago. At 9:15 a.m. EST, the

S&P 500

futures were up 2.6, about a point above fair value and signaling a mixed to higher open. The

Nasdaq 100

futures, meanwhile, were up 30 to 4125.

"Welcome to Phase 26 of the bull market," said Jim Volk, co-director of institutional trading at

D.A. Davidson

.

Cisco, catching wind from last night's

upside earnings, was trading at 133 3/8 on

Instinet

, up from a close of 125 13/16. The hottest thing in premarket action, though, is

Reuters

(RTRSY)

, whose ADRs were levitating at 143, up from a close of 125 1/2.

A lot of ink has been spilled about the breadth of yesterday's advance, which saw participation from such diverse groups as financials, drugs, utilities and tech. Today's action will show how real that trend is. So far this year, traders have used nearly every instance of strength outside the tech and biotech sectors as a selling opportunity. Financials have been flat overall, still hamstrung by interest-rate concerns. So too with energy stocks, despite their soaring fourth-quarter earnings. Basic materials and cyclicals, meanwhile, have gotten flat-out hammered.

Tech and biotech, meanwhile, are back in premillennium form. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

is up 8.8% on the year, while the

American Stock Exchange Biotechnology Index

has gained an eye-popping 38.5%. "As long as the momentum is there," said Volk, "that's where the money's going to go.

The bond market was mixed ahead of the Treasury's auction of 10-year notes. The 30-year Treasury was up 10/32 to 99 5/32, putting its yield at 6.209%. The 10-year note, meanwhile, was 1 tick lower to 95 21/32 and yielding 6.623%. No major economic data are scheduled for release.

The large European indices were higher in early afternoon trading, but off their early peaks. London's

FTSE

was up 80.9, or 1.3%, to 6366.7. The Paris

CAC

was up 23.41 to 6321.07, while Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

was 93.54 higher, or 1.2%, to 7643.42.

The euro was moving higher against the dollar, lately trading at $0.9927.

In Hong Kong, the

Hang Seng

soared 590.73, or 3.6%, to 16,819.46, thanks largely to continued enthusiasm over

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

, which makes up about 21% of the benchmark index. Investors are hoping China Telecom will be included in

Morgan Stanley Capital International's

China Free Index

, a market gauge used by many fund managers to allocate global assets. China Telecom rose 7.1%.

Meanwhile, Hang Seng component

Hutchison Whampoa

(HUWHY)

surged 8.5% after setting plans to sell its 10.1% stake in

Mannesmann

(MNNSY)

to

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

.

Tokyo's

Nikkei

managed to settle above the key 20,000 level for the first time in 2 1/2 years. The index rose 138.89 to 20,007.77.

The dollar hovered around 108.9 yen in Tokyo trading and was lately sitting at 108.77 yen.

Singapore's

Straits Times

index fell 18.48 to 2227.32, while South Korea's

Kospi

rose 14.83, or 1.5%, to 976.05.

For a look at stocks in the preopen news, see Stocks to Watch, published separately.