Like a monkey hopped up on goofballs, the market continues to scamper up the "wall of worry" erected in recent weeks on the foundation of higher interest rates and faltering Internet stocks. Even a reversal of early gains by the bond market failed to dissuade equity investors today.
With bellwether technology stocks reasserting their claim to the throne (of leadership) and merger activity lending a helping hand, major stock proxies marched smartly higher, albeit on continuing lackluster volume.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
renewed its climb on a second attempt to surmount the once-unthinkable 11,000 peak, climbing as high as 10,917.30 before closing up 109.54, or 1%, to 10,909.38.
paced Dow gainers, edging out
. Allied surged 7.6% on its announced merger with
, which leapt a further 6.7% after gaining 7.5% Friday in anticipation of the deal.
Other names pacing the Dow included
, the latter benefiting from a
also proved big winners. The
Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index
Nasdaq Composite Index
jumped 45.87, or 1.9%, to 2524.21. Over-the-counter tech bellwethers were led by
gained 2.1% while the
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
rose 1.8% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
Internet favorites such as
struggled early but recovered in fine shape to help lift
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index 32.41, or 5.9%, to 585.87. Once as low as 87, @Home rebounded to close up 9.8% at 103 3/4.
Among other DOT components,
rose 8.3% while
leapt 13.5% after subsidiary
announced alliances with heavyweights
Broader market averages lagged the Dow, the Comp and the DOT but finished with solid gains nonetheless. The
rose 6.77, or 0.5%, to 1334.52 while the
gained 4.32, or 1%, to 446.65.
In addition to tech leaders, the S&P was aided by financials such as
Bank of America
, as well as a host of oil service stocks. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
rose 1.5%, the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
climbed 3.4% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 664.3 million shares were traded -- the second-lowest level of the year, trailing only
Feb. 16's -- while advancers led declining stocks 1,716 to 1,235. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
activity, a relatively robust 879.3 million shares were exchanged while gainers led 2,165 to 1,756. New 52-week highs led new lows 93 to 53 in Big Board activity and by 117 to 36 in over-the-counter trading.
The lack of substantial volume had some players reluctant to pass judgment on the session, but "it is a good day," Bill Allyn, head of block trading at
, said without hesitation. "All indices are up across the board
and the action in the market is great. We've just come out of a very volatile and scary period -- I think it will take some time before this thing can go up with some conviction. As the market does more of this more investors will gain confidence."
Like a growing number of others, Allyn submitted the major averages established a near-term bottom late last week and sees institutions deploying funds into stocks, "albeit cautiously."
Going forward "I think the leadership will be returned to big-cap growth stocks" and, to a lesser extent, cyclicals, the trader said. "Some of the Internet stocks have had their better days -- the easy money has been made. I don't think
the group is dead, but not as actively played as it had been. These stocks seem to rally from lower lows and fail."
Drugs Sag, Airlines Heal
The S&P was restrained largely by drug makers, notably
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
closed down 1.6%. .
Airlines, meanwhile, produced a remarkable recovery after declining early on in the wake of a profit warning
late Friday by
UAL tumbled as low as 62 1/4, but closed up 0.9% to 66 3/8. Other carriers such as
Delta Air Lines
produced similar turnarounds. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
, once as low as 164.83, closed up 1.8% at 172.24.
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 19.23, or 0.6%, to 3481.96 after trading as low as 3410.45.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
gained 2.55, or 0.8%, to a record 333.27 while the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
dipped 2.83, or 0.4%, to 778.15.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
rose 70.61, or 1%, to 7010.75 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
gained 50.68, or 0.9%, to 5421.94.
Monday'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.
As noted above, Dow component AlliedSignal surged 4 7/16, or 7.6%, to 62 13/16 after confirming
Friday's rumor that it's buying Honeywell in a $14 billion stock swap. Honeywell rallied 7, or 6.7%, to an all-time high of 112. The combined company will be known as Honeywell and will be based in Morristown, N.J., AlliedSignal's present headquarters. Under terms of the deal, Honeywell shareholders will receive 1.88 AlliedSignal shares for each share of Minneapolis-based Honeywell.
upped AlliedSignal to outperform significantly from outperform.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
dropped 1 15/16, or 7.5%, to 23 13/16 after saying it's buying Dutch steel and aluminum firm
in a deal valued at $6.5 billion.
Columbia Energy Group
climbed 7 7/16, or 13.3%, to an all-time high of 63 3/16 after
, an energy services supplier, launched a hostile bid to acquire the company for $5.7 billion in cash, or $68 a share. NiSource gave up 5/8 to 27 9/16;
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
cut it to market perform from buy.
swelled 2 5/16, or 21.9%, to 12 3/4 after signing a seven-year agreement to provide high-speed Internet access in 38 properties and 14,500 units for
Town & Country Trust
. Town & Country added 1/16 to 16 7/8.
rocketed 5 7/8, or 31.7%, to an annual-high of 24 3/8 after
yesterday agreeing to buy
in a $5.9 billion stock deal. Zions skidded 6 13/16, or 10.4%, to 58 19/32.
IBM picked up 4 1/2 to 120 1/2 after setting a seven-year, $8 billion technology pact with
shot up 2 15/16, or 27.3%, to an annual high of 13 13/16 after
made a $14-a-share bid for the company. Yellow lost 1/16 to 17 5/8.
Juno Online Services
jumped 11/16, or 7.8%, to 9 5/8 on word of a distribution pact with Hewlett-Packard. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. H-P rose 3 1/2 to 94.
Mahoning National Bancorp
vaulted 11 1/4, or 36.3%, to 42 1/4 after
agreed to buy the company in a $307 million stock swap. Sky Financial fell 2 1/16, or 7.1%, to 27 1/4.
slipped 2 to 85 7/8 while
added 1/2 to 115 3/8 after announcing plans to jointly buy
fixed wireless assets for an undisclosed amount. The companies said they would form a joint venture called
took in 11/16 to 90 3/8 on word it's in discussions to acquire
of Britain, a security and fire protection group.
expanded 1 1/8, or 17%, to 7 13/16 after
(no relation to this site) agreed to acquire the company for $53.5 million. 7th Street.com grew 1/4, or 5%, to 5 5/16.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Bob Evans Farms
excelled 1/4 to 20 5/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 34 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst view and 4 cents above the year-ago figure.
Novel Denim Holdings
closed flat at 8 7/8 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, missing the three-analyst forecast for 34 cents and falling behind the year-ago 43 cents.
picked up 1/16 to 6 5/8 after recording fourth-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, on target with the six-analyst outlook but below the year-ago 9 cents.
As noted above, Friday's warning from
parent UAL weighed on the entire airline sector today. But most industry names managed to pull themselves up by the session's end. Despite forecasting second-quarter earnings are expected to come in around $2.40 to $2.80 a share and 1999 earnings will come in around $9 to $11 a share, UAL increased 9/16 to 66 3/8. A 10-analyst outlook called for earnings of $3.10 a share for the quarter, and an 11-analyst view called for net income of $9.96 for the full year.
Offerings and stock actions
hopped 1 5/32, or 37.8%, to 4 7/32 after its Internet unit,
, filed a registration statement for a 2.5 million-share IPO with an initial price range of $7 to $9 a share.
Pennsylvania Merchant Group
will serve as lead underwriters of the offering, perfumania.com said.
advanced 3 5/8 to an all-time high of 97 1/8 after setting a 2-for-1 stock split.
American Express climbed 2 3/4 to 128 after Prudential lifted it to strong buy from accumulate.
slid 1, or 11.1%, to 8 after
Salomon Smith Barney
lowered it to neutral from buy.
flew 2 1/16, or 7.4%, to 30 1/16 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
raised it to strong buy from outperform.
surged 5 1/16, or 7%, to 77 7/8 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter pushed it up to strong buy from outperform based on expectations
is on track to use the company's technology in a new chipset next quarter.
, the publisher of this Web site, rose 3 3/16, or 10.8%, to 32 5/8 amid broad Internet strength after
started coverage with a market outperform,
Hambrecht & Quist
started coverage at buy and
initiated coverage with a buy and a 12-month price target of 45. Goldman was the lead underwriter for TheStreet.com's May IPO, and H&Q was another underwriter.
DuPont expanded 2 9/16 to 72 13/16 after saying it would restructure its polyester business and cut 800 DuPont jobs and 600 contractor positions, or about 14% of the unit's total employees.
, whose trading was halted, said it voluntary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The NYSE said it will review the stock's listing status.