Big-Caps, Techs Keep Pushing Higher

Author:
Publish date:

In the spirit of one wag's assessment of

George Bush's

college baseball career -- "all field, no hit" -- today's stock-market action could be fairly called "all rallying big-caps, no volume."

It was, indeed, a real summer classic. With comforting noises emanating from Japan, a dearth of major earnings warnings and plenty of portfolio-management windows in need of dressing, stocks picked up where they left off last week and chugged higher. The broad

S&P 500

slid from its midday high of 1145.15, but its rise of 5.29 to 1138.49 was good enough for the measure's third new record in the last four sessions.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, up 108.12 to 9052.66 at its 12:40 p.m. EDT height, couldn't quite stay above the 9000 mark and ended with a gain of 52.82 to 8997.36.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

,

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

and

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

led on the upside.

The high-tech side did far better at retaining its intraday gains. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

charged ahead 21.55, or 1.2%, to 1891.08; the large-cap

Nasdaq 100

jumped 18.77, or 1.4%, to 1339.71; and the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

rose 7.42, or 1.3%, to a record 599.75. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

shed 0.91 to 250.13, weighed down by

Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

loss of 5/8 to 75 13/16.

Among other indices, the small-cap

Russell 2000

rose 3.56, or 0.8%, to 453.83; the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

leapt 41.90, or 1.2%, to 3459.84; the

Dow Jones Utility Average

punched up 3.86, or 1.3%, to 292.46; and the

American Stock Exchange Composite Index

gained 2.94 to 720.81.

Equity volume was slack as the slide into the Independence Day break began, with breadth positive. New highs beat new lows on both major exchanges at once for the first time in weeks. On the

New York Stock Exchange

, 1,813 advancers led 1,171 decliners on 548.1 million shares. New Big Board highs topped new lows by 115 to 101.

Nasdaq Stock Market

advancers outweighed decliners by 2,254 to 1,991 on 664.5 million shares, with 118 new highs a baby's breath ahead of 117 new lows.

Philip Tasho, CEO of

Riggs Investment Management

in Washington, said he was encouraged by the selloff that brought indices such as the Nasdaq Comp and the Russell 2000 down to their 200-day moving averages by mid-June. Now, with Japan getting its house in order and many U.S. fundamentals better than ever, he has one of the Street's rosier outlooks for the rest of the year.

"I think the market is putting too much emphasis on some of the problems overseas," Tasho said. "We'll go on to new highs and be well over

Dow 10,000 by year end. I believe every area that's been depressed will come roaring back."

But Tasho expects a tortuous route to that comeback. "I think we could very well retest the lows," he said. "I expect a lot more volatility. The larger averages didn't get down to the 200-day moving average I was talking about, so they could very well go down there before the rally does ensue." That would mean visiting 8400 on the Dow and 1020 on the S&P 500.

The bellwether 30-year Treasury bond gave up 6/32 to 106 26/32, its yield rising to 5.65%. The dollar fell 0.37 to 141.78 yen.

Elsewhere in North American equities, the

Toronto Stock Exchange 300

ran up 70.71, or 1%, to 7409.37 and the

Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index

gained 26.75 to 4184.56.

Monday's Company Report

By

Heather Moore
Staff Reporter

(

Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified

.)

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

plunged 6 3/4, or 30.6%, to an annual low of 15 5/16 after saying late

Friday that it expects to report disappointing third-quarter earnings.

Cash America

(PWN)

sank 4 9/16, or 22.6%, to 15 5/8 after announcing late

Friday that its second-quarter earnings will come in about half of what was previously expected.

Snap-On

(SNA) - Get Report

tumbled 3 1/2, or 9.1%, to an annual low of 34 15/16 after saying it will eliminate 1,000 jobs and take a $175 million restructuring charge in its third quarter. The company expects second-quarter earnings to come in about 40% below the year-ago 63 cents per share (the six-analyst estimate called for 70 cents) and third-quarter earnings to come in about 10% below the year-ago 57 cents (analysts called for 65 cents).

Kellogg

(K) - Get Report

dropped 1 9/16 to an annual low of 38 5/16 after

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

cut it to underperform from market perform. The firm also slashed its second-quarter earnings estimate to 36 cents per share from 38 cents, its 1998 forecast to $1.60 from $1.75 and its 1999 view to $1.70 from $1.90. The 15-analyst First Call consensus calls for second-quarter earnings of 38 cents, 1998 earnings of $1.79 and 1999 earnings of $1.97. Also suffering at the hands of DLJ was

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

, which slipped 1 13/16 to 68 7/16 after the firm downgraded it to market perform from buy.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Unit Instruments

(UNII)

shot up 2 5/8, or 40.4%, to 9 1/8 after saying it's in merger talks with an unnamed company.

Young Broadcasting

(YBTVA)

jumped 15 15/16, or 33.6%, to an all-time high of 63 13/16 after saying it retained

Lazard Freres

to explore strategic alternatives, including a merger or sale.

Dawson Production Services

(DPSI)

grew 1 15/16, or 15.7%, to 14 3/8 after

Key Energy Group

(KEG) - Get Report

made a $180 million bid to acquire the company. Key Energy lost 5/8 to 13.

Physio-Control International

(PHYS) - Get Report

climbed 3 5/16, or 14.5%, to 26 1/4 after

Medtronic

(MDT) - Get Report

agreed to buy the company for about $493 million in stock. Medtronic added 7/8 to 63 13/16.

Bibb

(BIB) - Get Report

jumped 1 5/16, or 9.5%, to an all-time high of 15 1/8 after

Dan River

(DRF)

agreed to buy the company in a stock-and-debt deal valued at $250 million. Dan River added 1/8 to 17 7/8.

Consumers Water

(CONW)

swelled 1 7/8, or 7.8%, to 26 after

Philadelphia Suburban

(PSC) - Get Report

agreed to acquire the company for about $460 million in stock and assumed debt. Philadelphia Suburban fell 1/16 to 20 13/16.

U.K.-based

PowerGen

(PWG)

for $3.16 billion. Dominion advanced 3/8 to 41.

Metrocall

(MCLL)

climbed 1/16 to 6 after agreeing to buy

AT&T Wireless Services'

Advanced Messaging Division for $205 million in cash and preferred stock. AT&T Wireless Services'parent,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

, added 3/16 to 56 15/16.

Monsanto

(MTC) - Get Report

dropped 13/16 to 56 3/8 after announcing that it will buy

Cargill's

international seed operations for $1.4 billion.

United Technologies

added 1 1/8 to 91 9/16 after announcing plans to cut a deal with

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

whereby Big Blue will handle the firm's key purchasing functions. IBM added 1 1/8 to 114 1/8.

LSI

(LSI) - Get Report

leapt 3/16 to 23 5/16 after announcing that it will acquire

Symbios

from

Hyundai

for $760 million.

Offerings and stock actions

Excite

(XCIT)

sailed 9 7/8, or 13%, to 85 7/8 after setting a 2-for-1 stock split.

Analyst actions

Alliance Semiconductor

(ALSC)

surged 7/8, or 34.6%, to 3 7/16 after

Lehman Brothers

upped it to outperform from neutral.

Play-By-Play Toys & Novelties

(PBYP)

stumbled 2 7/16, or 18.8%, to a 52-week low of 10 9/16 after

Merrill Lynch

cut it to near-term neutral from accumulate while maintaining a long-term buy.

Laser Vision Centers

(LVCI)

skidded 2, or 14.8%, to 11 5/8 after

SBC Warburg Dillon Read

lowered it to buy from strong buy.

JDA Software

(JDAS)

lowered 5 9/16, or 10.6%, to 47 after

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

lowered it to neutral from strong buy.

Compuware

(CPWR)

flew 2 13/16, or 6%, to 49 3/4 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter raised it to strong buy from outperform.

Borg-Warner Automotive

(BWA) - Get Report

advanced 2 5/16, or 5.2%, to 47 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter raised it to strong buy from outperform.

Linens 'n Things

(LIN) - Get Report

shot up 1 7/16, or 5%, to 30 7/16 after

Piper Jaffray

increased it to strong buy from buy.

Anchor Gaming

(SLOT)

dipped 2 5/8 to 80 1/4 after

BT Alex. Brown

cut it to buy from strong buy.

Inland Steel

(IAD)

vaulted 5/8 to 28 1/4 after

Bear Stearns

upgraded it to buy from attractive.

Boron LePore

(BLPG)

rose 1 3/8 to 36 1/8 after Piper Jaffray started coverage with a strong buy and a 18-month price target of 45.

Unilever

(UN) - Get Report

lost 2 to 109 15/16 after the

Food and Drug Administration

said it received about 30 reports of men dying after taking

Viagra

, the company's anti-impotence drug. DLJ recommended switching from Pfizer to

Warner-Lambert

(WLA)

, which added 2 1/2 to an all-time high of 69 7/16.

TheStreet.com

looked at the call/put play resulting from the suggested switch in today's

Options Buzz

.

Championship Auto Racing

(OPW)

sprouted 2 5/16, or 13.5%, to 19 7/16 after naming a Swiss sports marketing group its exclusive worldwide agent for the sale of all sponsorships of its open-wheel racing series until 2007.

Steel of West Virginia

(SWVA)

slipped 1 1/8, or 12.5%, to 8 1/2 after the company reduced operating hours and laid off employees because of electricity shortages and power interruptions at power plants in the region.

Iomega

(IOM)

jumped 7/16, or 7.8%, to 6 1/16 after announcing an agreement with France's

Nomai

to settle their patent infringement suit under which Iomega will a majority stake in Nomai for $21 million.

Compaq

(CPQ)

rose 3/8 to 29 5/16 after saying it will eliminate 5,000 manufacturing jobs as part of its previously announced plans to cut 17,000 jobs and integrate its

Digital Equipment

and

Tandem Computer

acquisitions.

Rockwell

(ROK) - Get Report

added 9/16 to 49 after announcing a restructuring plan that, along with putting 3,800 people out of work, calls for it to spin off its semiconductor unit. The last time Rockwell restructured, a little less than two years ago, it shed its defense business to focus on the tech side of things. The company will take a $625 million charge.

PaineWebber

raised it to buy from attractive.

America Online

(AOL)

lost 4 1/4 to 103 1/2 even after its

CompuServe Interactive Services

launched

CompuServe 4.0

, the unit's upgraded online service software.