Another Winning Week, as Market Pushes Through Early Weakness

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Reverting to a familiar pattern, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and the

S&P 500

bounced off early weakness to cap another upside week with a winning session.

The S&P, which traded as low as 1022.69 at midsession, started climbing around 12:40 p.m. EST and finished up 5.93 at a record 1034.21. The Dow sported a similar pattern but didn't make it back to Wednesday's record close of 8451.06, ending with a gain of 38.36 to 8413.94.

The tech-stirred

Nasdaq Composite Index

, down more than 13 at midday, advanced 1.12 to 1728.13. Such large stocks as

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

and

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

were on the plus side but smaller issues lagged. The small-cap

Russell 2000

lost 0.22 to 453.99.

For the week, the Dow gained 43.84, or 0.5%; the S&P 500 gained 14.12, or 1.4%; the Nasdaq gained 17.71, or 1%; and the Russell 2000 slipped 0.30, essentially unchanged.

In today's session,

New York Stock Exchange

advancers outpaced decliners by 1,558 to 1,336 on 594.3 million shares. New Big Board highs led new lows by 176 to 12. On the Nasdaq, 2,162 decliners squeaked ahead of 2,159 advancers on 755.6 million shares. New Nasdaq highs topped new lows by 172 to 54.

Today's double-witching options expiration (covered in this afternoon's

Options Buzz) seemed to account for some of the jerkiness in the session's activity. "More than anything else, the market's shown the typical hesitation on a typical expiration day," said Gregory Nie, chief technical analyst at

Everen Securities

in Chicago. "It's not providing any material change to the overall trend."

While the market's positive bias remains intact, Nie said, a more extensive pullback than yesterday's little break is in the offing. "Any kind of decent strength next week is going to push a number of indicators into overbought territory," he said. "I do think it's just going to be an interim time out, followed by a resumption of the uptrend."

Support for the Dow could come as soon as 8200, with a "high probability" of support between 8000 and 8200, Nie said. "That really is minor from the standpoint of 200 to 300 points lower after what's probably going to be a 900-point rally," he said.

And Nie preemptively rejected a fundamental explanation for a March downturn: the start of first-quarter earnings preannouncement season. "An available rationalization for a market that was overbought to begin with," he scoffed.

The bond market declined modestly, with the benchmark 30-year Treasury down 9/32 to 103 18/32 in price. The yield rose to 5.87%.

Friday's market action

(earnings estimates from

First Call

; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified):

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

stock finally found a bottom near 40 1/2 late today, and ended down 16 1/16, or 27.7%, at 42. A whopping 27.5 million shares changed hands. The stock now trades at 38.5 times trailing earnings.

Although the supplier of fiber-optic equipment topped quarterly profit estimates

yesterday evening, warnings about an order slowdown from its large customer

WorldCom

(WCOM)

scared some investors. Others remained sanguine, as

TheStreet.com

reported in a

story today.

A Ciena spokesman later said the company has executives negotiating a deal in New York right now; several people say the new customer is

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

. Bell Atlantic added 7/16 to 89.

--

Kevin Petrie

Earnings reports and previews

Hirsch International

(HRSH)

imploded 10 3/8, or 48%, to a 52-week low of 11 1/4 after late

yesterday warning of a fourth-quarter shortfall.

PMR

(PMRP)

collapsed 6 1/8, or 33.3%, to a 52-week low of 12 3/8 after late

yesterday reporting third-quarter earnings in line with estimates.

Deswell Industries

(DSWLF)

rocketed 3 1/8, or 18.5%, to 20 1/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 78 cents per share. The company earned 59 cents a year earlier; First Call had no estimates.

Intersolv

(ISLI)

plunged 3 9/16, or 18%, to 16 1/4 despite late

yesterday reporting fourth-quarter earnings 5 cents per share better than expectations.

Smart Modular Technologies

(SMOD)

, which late

yesterday reported a first-quarter upside surprise, was chopped 5 7/8, or 16.4%, to 30 3/16. The company told analysts on a conference call that a large customer has diverted some of its business away from Smart because of product delivery problems,

Reuters

reported.

Puma Technology

(PUMA)

dropped 15/16, or 12.9%, to 6 1/2 after reporting second-quarter earnings of 3 cents per share. That met the two-analyst consensus estimate but was down from the year-ago 4 cents.

Datum

(DATM)

shot up 1 7/8, or 12.2%, to 17 1/4 after late

yesterday reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Centigram

(CGRM)

slumped 1 3/8, or 9.9%, to 12 3/4 after late

yesterday reporting a disappointing first-quarter loss.

GeoScience

(GSCI)

advanced 1, or 9.8%, to 11 3/8 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents per share. That was in line with the two-analyst outlook and up from the year-ago 17 cents.

Broadway & Seymour

(BSIS)

slid 3/4, or 8.7%, to 7 7/8 after late

yesterday warning of a first-quarter shortfall.

Converse

(CVE) - Get Report

deflated 9/16 to 6 9/16 after late

yesterday reporting a wider-than-anticipated fourth-quarter loss.

Blonder Tongue Laboratories

(BDR) - Get Report

-- no kidding -- fell 3/4 to 15 3/16 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 20 cents per share. That missed the two-analyst view by a penny but beat the year-ago 15 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

DoubleClick

(DCLK:Nasdaq) soared 9 1/2, or 55.9%, to 26 3/4 in its debut session. It traded as high as 31 3/4 intraday.

Goldman Sachs

led the offering. A

TSC

special contributor examined the DoubleClick IPO in a

commentary yesterday.

Nutriceutical International

(NUTR:Nasdaq) made its debut with a rise of 1 7/8, or 10.7%, to 19 7/16.

Deutsche Morgan Grenfell

was lead underwriter.

ATMI

(ATMI)

shed 1 1/8 to 28 3/8 after filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to offer up to 4 million shares.

Complete Business Solutions

(CBSL)

improved 1 13/16 to 63 5/8 after late yesterday setting a 2-for-1 stock split.

Graco

(GGG) - Get Report

gained 3/4 to 30 7/8 after setting a buyback of up to 1.2 million shares.

HealthCare Financial Partners

(HCFP)

rose 1 1/8 to 38 5/8 after filing with the SEC to offer up to 2.95 million shares.

Tyco International

(TYC)

gave up 15/16 to 47 13/16 after late

yesterday announcing plans to sell 22 million shares under a shelf registration.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Tel-Save Holdings

(TALK)

jumped 2 7/8, or 11.6%, to an all-time high of 27 11/16 on news that it has retained

Salomon Smith Barney

to advise it on a possible sale of the company.

Express Scripts

(ESRX)

ran up 7 1/8, or 11.2%, to an all-time high of 70 1/2 after agreeing to buy the

ValueRx

pharmacy benefit management company from

Columbia/HCA Healthcare

(COL)

for $445 million in cash. Columbia crept up 1/16 to 26 1/16.

Lukens Medical

(LUKN)

bounded 5/16, or 10.2%, to 3 3/8 before being halted around 3 p.m. EST. The company later announced that it has been in discussions to sell itself to an unnamed party for $4 per share.

Adaptec

(ADPT) - Get Report

skidded 1 3/8 to 23 5/16 after late

yesterday announcing its planned $775 million acquisition of the chip outfit

Symbios

from

Hyundai Electronics America

.

SoundView Financial Group

downgraded the stock to short-term hold from buy, maintaining a long-term buy, and trimmed its 1998 estimate slightly.

Earthgrains

(EGR)

ascended 2 3/8 to 43 7/16 after its CEO told

Reuters

the company expects more consolidation in the bakery industry and will actively pursue more acquisitions.

Axa-UAP

(AXA)

. DLJ edged up 1/8 to 82 13/16.

Banco Santander

(STD)

sizzled up 2 7/16, or 12.7%, to 21 11/16 after

Lehman Brothers

upgraded it to buy from outperform.

Bear Stearns

initiated coverage of several health-care information systems companies. Started at buy were

HBO & Co.

(HBOC)

, up 1 5/8 to 53 3/8;

Cerner

(CERN) - Get Report

, up 5/8 to 20 3/16; and

Transition Systems

(TSIX)

, up 1/4 to 19 3/4. Started at attractive were

Superior Consultant Holdings

(SUPC)

, up 3 5/8, or 10.9%, to an all-time high of 37 1/8;

Shared Medical Systems

(SMS)

, up 11/16 to an all-time high of 76 7/16; and

IDX Systems

(IDXC)

, unchanged at 36 3/8.

Humana

(HUM) - Get Report

gained 13/16 to 25 5/16 after

Merrill Lynch

upped it to near-term buy from accumulate, keeping a long-term buy.

EchoStar Communications

(DISH) - Get Report

increased 11/16 to 19 1/8 after Lehman Brothers started coverage at buy with a price target of 30.

Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Report

ascended 9/16 to 32 1/8 after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage at market outperform.

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

slipped 7/16 to 39 5/16 despite an upgrade to buy from hold at

Hambrecht & Quist

.

JDN Realty

(JDN)

fell 3/4 to 31 7/8 despite a buy-rated initiation at

Gruntal

.

Mastering

(MASC)

lost 1/4 to 11 3/8 after

Furman Selz

cut it to neutral from buy and pulled it from the recommended list.

King World Productions

(KWP)

dropped 3/8 to 27 5/8 after Merrill Lynch downgraded it to near-term neutral from accumulate, maintaining a long-term buy.

HealthPlan Services

(HPS) - Get Report

was up 1/4 to 25 13/16 after

SBC Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage at outperform with a 12- to 18-month price target of 31.

Miscellany

Laser Power

(LPWR)

soared 1 1/8, or 18.8%, to 7 1/4 after it received a key Notice of Allowability from the

Patent and Trademark Office

.

Gtech

(GTK)

improved 1 15/16 to 33 9/16 after the

Texas Lottery

ended a rebidding process for Gtech-provided services.

TheStreet.com

looked at the news in a

story today.