SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite Friday's dip, investors' appetite for stocks didn't emerge in earnest today until late in the session. But major proxies parlayed buying interest at the opening and close sandwiched around the luncheon meat of apathetic trading into a meal of modestly positive gains.
After a relatively subdued day, stock proxies rallied in unison after 3:00 p.m. EST and closed at or near session highs. A combination of the bond market's strong close and the
futures rise above 1395 led to the end-of-day advance, traders said.
Positive comments from bullish strategists Abby Joseph Cohen of
and Joe Battipaglia of
also contributed to the ultimate strong finish, others noted.
Following last week's 4.9% decline, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was the strongest major average throughout the session, trading as high as 10,549 before closing up 94.63, or 0.9%, to 10,519.94.
In addition to tech giant
, the venerable index got its biggest boost from cyclical components such as
Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index
ExxonMobil led a strong energy group, which responded to crude prices rising to over $30 a barrel at the
New York Mercantile Exchange
for the first time since 1991. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
The Deal Makers
rose 4% and
gained 3% after joining forces with
to create an online marketplace for the aerospace industry. i2 Technologies rose 7.9%.
Other deals driving stocks featured
, which rose 3.1% despite pledging $7.6 billion of its stock to acquire
and its unit,
. Medical Manager leapt 31% while CareInsite gained 2.9%.
rose 5.3% after receiving a buyout offer from
, which slid 0.6%.
soared 23.7% after
is considering acquiring the firm. AOL fell 2.4%.
Beyond the deal-inspired movers, it was a pretty quiet day for tech stocks although they received solid interest in the session's final hour.
Nasdaq Composite Index
rose 23.10, or 0.5%, to 4418.55 after trading as low as 4355.54. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was strong throughout the session, rising 1.5%. The SOX's gains came thanks largely to strength in
, which gained 26.1% after
unveiled PCs with Intel-produced memory chips based on Rambus' technology. Intel gained 4.7% while Dell slid 1.2%.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index fell 14.84, or 1.3%.
added 2.82, or 0.2%, to 1389.94 while the
rose 2.84, or 0.5%, to 539.94.
"This will lead to a positive feel for tomorrow," Sam Ginzburg, managing director of equity trading at
, said of the market's final hour push.
Even before the late-day gains, Ginzburg was expecting equities to rally, noting that "sleepy" activity is "usually a precursor to some sort of bounce," especially after a "leg down" such as the one evident Friday.
"The quieting down of selling and
absence of crazy volatility to me is leading the way to a potentially powerful rally, if we can get some good economic news and good guidance
Thursday," he said.
Ginzburg referred to this week's battery of economic reports -- featuring the
Producer Price Index
Consumer Price Index
Friday -- as well as
testimony on Thursday.
As to whether the rally waits for the economic news and Greenspeak, the trader demurred, but noted "people somehow, someway have a good feeling" how these things will turn out before they occur.
"Bonds closed strong today" in advance of the economic data and testimony, he noted. "I think we catch up to it."
The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 19/32 to 100 8/32 its yield falling to 6.23%.
But Ned Collins, executive vice president of U.S. stocks at
Daiwa Securities America
was more skeptical about whether today's advance augurs better times ahead for equities.
"I just don't think this showed the real kind of excitement that is going to say everything is slick and cool from here on," Collins said. "I still think on the
New York Stock Exchange
you had a sloppy market as far as technical
indicators go. The OTC looks a little better than the Big Board where the advance/decline and new highs/new lows are just lousy."
In NYSE trading, 927.3 million shares were exchanged while declining stocks led advancers 1,549 to 1,452. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
action 1.613 billion shares traded while gainers led 2,196 to 2,031. New 52-week lows swamped new highs 238 to 51 on the Big Board while new highs led 286 to 108 in over-the-counter trading.
Collins isn't bearish but called today's advance more of a "technical thing than something that got us out of the woods."
Additionally, "all in all it was a very boring 928 million-share day," he said.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 1.3%; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
added 0.4% and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index