Easy as 1, 0.2 and unchanged.
Producer Price Index
report -- the headline registered 0.2% and the core rate was unchanged, both below expectations -- sparked a solid rally in stocks and bonds today, capping the broad equity market's first positive week in the past four.
Chicago Board of Trade
chose to close early
yesterday because of power problems in the big-shouldered city, many bond traders chose to close out long positions or get short in case the PPI was filled with a nasty inflationary surprise. Thus, when the report proved friendly, the bond was primed for a solid upswing.
The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 1 to 100 11/32, its yield falling to 6.10%. The action in fixed-income laid the foundation for a solid move in equities, and traders said the market was just looking for an excuse to continue the rebound from recent selling.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 184.26, or 1.7%, to 10,973.65, the Dow's highest close since July 27. The index got its biggest boost from
, as financials in general capitalized on the bond market's advance. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
jumped 4.3% and the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
Growth names such as
were also featured gainers in both the Dow and broader market. The
S&P Barra Growth Index
also gave the Dow a boost, rising 6%.
Enlivened by many of the same, as well as another decent performance by drugmakers and solid strength in
Nasdaq Stock Market
-traded tech bellwethers, the
rose 29.52, or 2.3%, to 1327.68.
Nasdaq Composite Index
rose 88.32, or 3.5%, to 2637.81, its fourth-biggest point gain in history. Tech bellwethers rose in near unanimity, led by
The Comp got an additional boost from chip plays such as
, which benefited from an upgrade from
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
Last, but not least, the Comp got a boost from Internet stalwarts such as
, which rose 6%.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index gained 21.89, or 4.3%, to 528.41.
If you're getting the feeling there was strength across a broad swath of stocks and sectors today, you're right. That sentiment was further reflected in broader market averages such as the
, which rose 5.23, or 1.2%, to 434.05. In addition, market internals improved from their recent lassitude.
"This had this tone right out of the gate," said Jay Meagrow, vice president of trading at
in Cleveland. "It was solid to the upside and held it all day. It's good to be up across the board and to finally get everyone to shut up and stop talking about interest rates for a half a day" after PPI proved favorable.
But Meagrow observed a lack of compelling upside volume, an outperformance by "big, favorite names" and the fact a "fair amount" of players were MIA.
"We made the best of it, but I still think it's a summer-Friday rally," he said. "It's good to see the Russell turn but I didn't think it could go any lower. The Russell has been the market's bastard child for years now. I'd like to see the Russell hold some kind of uptrend."
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 691.8 million shares were exchanged while advancers led declining stocks 1,953 to 1,035. In Nasdaq action 937.4 million shares traded while gainers led 2,423 to 1,467. New 52-week lows bested new highs 145 to 40 on the Big Board while new highs led 88 to 65 in over-the-counter trading.
Not Good Enough
Advances today and
Wednesday have some players feeling cautiously optimistic. But, markets being markets, there are plenty more who feel to the contrary.
"I think the bulk of the gains are behind us," said Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at
. "Up from
Dow 10,600 to 11,000 is pretty good for an oversold rally, but an oversold rally doesn't correct valuation excesses and the long-term technical extension of the market that exists."
In addition to valuation, Dwyer cited other factors he foresees suppressing more advancement and ultimately leading to a significant downturn in the near to intermediate term. Specifically, interest rates, Y2K and energy prices.
"The perception is they're all going to be negative," he said. "As we get through all the noise, they probably won't be much
of a problem but the market trades on perception short-term, not reality."
Additionally, "you need a climactic event in the market place to create a real bottom," the analyst said. Although Internet stocks have been "getting creamed, it's only one subsector. You need more damage" to the rest of the market.
Earlier this week, the average NYSE stock was down 22% from its 52-week high and the average over-the-counter issue off 29%, Dwyer noted. Conversely, at the October "bottom" last year, the average stock on both the Big Board and the Nasdaq was down more than 50% from 52-week highs.
For a true bottom to emerge you need a "15% to 20% correction coupled with time so earnings can catch up to valuations," he said.
As for today's action, stocks are "having a nice little rally here," but "nothing too juicy," Dwyer said. "Volume is not that great. You've got good breadth but it's more indicative of an oversold technical rally than a fundamental move higher. Portfolio managers aren't going to say, 'We've got to buy here.'"
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 21.61, or 0.7%, to 3179.07; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
added 1.79, or 0.6%, to 314.39; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
gained 3.09, or 0.4%, to 783.74.
For the week, the Dow industrials added 259.62, or 2.4%; the S&P 500 rose 27.39, or 2.1%; the Comp rallied 89.84, or 3.5%; the Russell 2000 rose 6.01, or 1.4%; and the DOT rose 29.92, or 6%. Additionally, the Dow transports tumbled 40.36, or 1.3%; the Dow utilities shed 3.99, or 1.3%; and the Amex Composite rose 5.82, or 0.7%.
Elsewhere in North American equities today, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
jumped 91.18, or 1.3%, to 7006.16 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
rocketed 151.50, or 2.9%, to 5369.02.
Friday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
(EFTD:Nasdaq) and four other IPO hopefuls halted their trade debuts, taking part in the recent trend of deal delays spawned by market volatility. ftd.com's anticipated decision comes after the eagerly awaited
IPO traded down from its initial price when it hit the market earlier this month. 1-800-Flowers.com sent strong signals to Wall Street analysts that turbulent market was more than most public potentials could stomach. ftd.com's lead underwriter,
that the deal was on "a day-to-day basis for several days" before the postponement.
(CORT:Nasdaq) indefinitely postponed its planned IPO, and
(NSIL:Nasdaq) opted to put their offerings off until September.
(TWAV:Nasdaq) decided to delay its deal until next week.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
was up 1 1/16 to 27 3/16 on a report that it may sell its
magazine division, which includes
Women's Wear Daily
magazines, as well as many trade publications,
The New York Times
reported, citing execs involved in the deal. There are two bidders for the titles:
Conde Nast Publications
. Conde Nast Chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. has offered $650 million for the Fairchild group, the
reported, citing the Disney exec.
Falcon Building Products
is selling its air power tools division,
DeVilbiss Air Power
for $460 million. Pentair was up 1 5/8 to 42 5/8.
was up 2 1/8 to 65 7/8 after it said it has forged an agreement to buy privately held
for about $246 million in stock, increasing its presence in the data networking market. Xedia manufactures routers for virtual private networking services. With help from Xedia, Lucent would heighten its data networking capability, a weak spot for the No. 1 telecommunications equipment maker.
Xedia's customer list includes
. Lucent expects the deal to be inked by the end of the fiscal quarter and said it will not affect fiscal 2000 earnings.
was up 2 9/16 to 68 15/16 on news that investment firm
Michigan Avenue Partners
gave the aluminum manufacturer an all-cash takeover offer in an attempt to kept the company independent. This offer challenges the half cash, half stock offer launched by
. Michigan Avenue Partners told
that its offer tops Alcoa's, which totals $65 a share, or $56 billion, including assumed debt.
Alcoa's offer came shortly after its competitor
forged a deal to buy
aluminum business. Shares of Alcan were off 3/8 to 35 1/8 while Pechiney ADRs were up 1/16 to 31 3/16.
was down 1/16 to 4 11/16 after it announced plans to sell 13 land-based drilling rigs to
. The $48 million transaction is Parker's way out of U.S. onshore oil and gas drilling, the core of its business. President and CEO Bob Parker Jr. said the sale was in line with its long-term growth strategy. Unit shares were up 1/4 to 8 1/4 on the news.
was up 1 3/16 to 27 15/16 after it announced that members of the Sbarro family will purchase all of the shares that they don't already own in a deal estimated at $389.4 million. Nonfamily holders own about 13.5 million shares, or 65.6%, of the Italian restaurant chain's stock. The family members would pay $28.85 for each share.
have suspended plans for a television network aimed at women, only two months after announcing an ambitious strategy to combine their cable assets and women's content,
The Wall Street Journal
reported. Time Warner shares traded up 1 1/16 to 68 7/16.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
said its second-quarter earnings would be somewhat below first-quarter operating results, due to weaker-than-expected results at its European and North American businesses. The three-analyst earnings estimate for the second quarter called for 44 cents a share.
The world's largest household appliance maker, Sweden's
, was off 3/4 to 43 1/8 even after forecast the company forecast higher 1999 profits.
was up 3/4 to 39 15/16 after it said it scaled down its second-quarter noncash goodwill write-off, reducing EPS charges for the quarter to 58 cents from 59 cents. The company told
that the changes have no impact on current or future prospects.
reported a second-quarter loss of 39 cents a share, wider than the single-analyst expected loss of 25 cents a share, but narrower than a year-ago loss of 48 cents.
dropped 4 1/8, or 37.3%, to 6 after it announced that it would postpone its second quarter earnings report. The company said it was awaiting results from an independent auditors review.
has written several times on Sabratek, most recently
plummeted 3, or 38%, to 6 3/16 after late yesterday warning it expects to earn 25 cents to 27 cents a share in the third quarter, lower than the current three-analyst estimate of 29 cents a share; and 17 cents to 19 cents a share in the fourth quarter, below the current nine-analyst estimate of 25 cents. Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to near-term neutral from accumulate and to long-term accumulate from buy.
Offerings and stock actions
was up 3, or 27%, to 14 in its trading debut. The stock rose from its initial price of $11 a share.
East West Bancorp
was off 1/16 to 9 13/16 after it announced its third stock buyback plan that would return roughly $7 million of common stock to the company. The company said about 22.4 million shares remain outstanding at the near completion of its second $7 million repurchasing plan, which was authorized in March.
went against the recent trend of IPO failures, jumping 33, or 235.7%, to 47 in its first day of trading. The stock was priced at $14 a share.
Merrill Lynch hammered
down to neutral from accumulate, noting industry turmoil and stock-price vulnerability. Shares of Carriage dropped 3 9/16 to 11 7/16.
popped 2 3/4, or 5.4%, to 53 3/4 after
Barrington Research Associates
upped it from a hold to a buy due to recent weakness.
was up 2 11/16 to 37 3/16 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
raised its rating to strong buy from outperform.
was up 1/2 to 21 7/8 after
upgraded it to buy from attractive.
was up 2 7/8 to 47 1/4 after
Banc of America Securities
analyst Leslie Stonestreet upgraded the stock to buy from market perform. Stonestreet said in a report that Banc of America strongly supports the company's possible merger with Global Crossing.
Merrill Lynch biotech analyst Eric Hecht started coverage on
with an near-term accumulate and long-term buy rating. Genentech dropped 1 1/2 to 167.
gained 13/16 to 27 3/4 after PaineWebber upgraded it to attractive from neutral.
popped 3 7/8 to 101 11/16 when
upgraded it to buy from outperform.
to buy from neutral. Shares of Scientific-Atlanta soared up 7 5/16 to 47 1/8.
dropped 2 1/8 to 61 when PaineWebber downgraded it to attractive from buy.
was up 2 9/16, or 5.5%, to 48 3/4 on news that a federal court threw out a suit filed by
for its unsuccessful $10 billion takeover bid for Computer Sciences. Computer Associates said a U.S. district court found no evidence to support accusations that it used confidential information when bidding for Computer Sciences in early 1998. Computer Sciences improved 1 to 65 11/56.
stock may have been unfairly pounded by sky-high expectations for toy sales related to
Star Wars Episode I -- The Phantom Menace
, and now some think the stock is a bargain, the Heard on the Street column in the
reported. Shares of Hasbro were up 1 5/16 to 26 7/8.
at 3 1/16 after filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. On Wednesday, the satellite telecommunications company defaulted on more than $1.5 billion loans. A band of bondholders, who hold roughly 25% of its $1.45 billion of outstanding senior notes, put forth an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition against Iridium. The company said majority owner
is optimistic about its restructuring plan, which will be launched within 30 days.
The New York Stock Exchange suspended
Red Roof Inns
common stock from trading today, after hotel group
acquired more than 99% of its shares. A tender offer by Accor, which expired yesterday, left fewer than 600,000 Red Roof Inn shares left for the public. The NYSE usually suspends or eliminates a stock if public shares dip under 600,000.
was up 1/16 to 66 1/16 after it said it's cutting 2,500 jobs worldwide, about 1,100 more than it planned when it unveiled a cost-savings program late last year.
was off 1/16 to 7/16 on news that it has appointed Randolph Rollins to immediately replace the resigning Charles Davies as its president and CEO.
The Inside Wall Street column in
, penned this week by Jeffrey M. Laderman, offers up a bullish article on
. Elsewhere in the column, William S. Brennan of
Pacific Growth Equities
U.S. Plastic Lumber
and has a target on the stock of 16 within the next 12 months. American Tower shares were up 3/16 to 20 5/16 while U.S. Plastic Lumber jumped 1, or 18.3%, to 9.
, the dominant maker of bar-code printers, added 7/8 to 47 3/4 after Andrew Stephens, portfolio manager of the
Artisan Mid Cap Fund
, said in Inside Wall Street that he thinks the stock will reach 60 to 65 in the second half of next year.