Gotta love the witches.
So said Wall Street's big-cap longs this afternoon, in the face of muttered imprecations from shorts caught in an options-expiration rally. As
found in today's
Options Buzz, the double-witching expiration of stock and stock-index options had a positive bias that overcame downward forces like the reported bankruptcy of Japan's fourth-largest brokerage.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, up more than 52 to 7879 around 1 p.m. EST, stumbled as low as 7791.55 by 2:30 as the
Nihon Keizai Shimbun's
report suffused through trading floors. But the blue-chip index turned on one of the dimes Yamaichi doesn't have many of, shooting up for a gain of 54.46 to 7881.07.
Was there real conviction behind the move? "Not at all," said Bob Basel, director of listed trading at
. "It was options-expiration related." Basel said the move tells him absolutely nothing about real underlying sentiment going into next week.
rose 4.11 to 963.09, but high-tech and small-cap equities again failed to join in the reindeer games. The tech-rific
Nasdaq Composite Index
fell 5.81 to 1620.75, with the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
down 3.61 to 307.95 and the
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
down 4.27 to 459.66. The small-cap
dropped 0.65 to 435.05.
Still, all of the major indices enjoyed an up week. The Dow rose 308.59, or 4.1%; the S&P 500 rose 34.74, or 3.7%; the Nasdaq rose 37.24, or 2.4%; and the Russell 2000 rose 6.64, or 1.5%.
Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at
, said he was pleased to see the Dow poised for an assault on 7900 and beyond. "I was more focused on 7700
than 7800, and it seemed to get through there pretty easily," he said. "I think all the ducks have lined up for a good market. I think the bottom is in place. The Southeast Asian situation and the currency situation in Brazil, they're definitely negatives. But I think a thing that's lost in the shuffle is the strength in the Mexican economy and the Canadian economy, as well as our own. Those economies are far more important than all other economies."
Market internals were mixed as the week drew to a close. On the
New York Stock Exchange
, 1,582 advancers led 1,270 decliners on 611 million shares. New NYSE highs beat new lows by 165 to 31. Nasdaq decliners topped advancers by 2,347 to 2,006 on 688.6 million shares. New Nasdaq highs outpaced new lows by 125 to 85.
Friday's market action
(earnings estimates from
(RNWK:Nasdaq) debuted with a leap of 5 3/8, or 43%, to 17 7/8, leading a day chock full o' IPOs. (Real Networks, brought public by
, was the subject of a
Tuesday story in
.) Other upside standouts on the calendar included
(TGNT:Nasdaq), up 4, or 18.6%, to 25 5/8; Merrill issue
(ROV:NYSE), up 2 1/2, or 17.9%, to 16 1/2; Goldman issue
Affiliated Managers Group
(AMG:NYSE), up 3, or 12.8%, to 26 1/2;
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
(AMB:NYSE), up 2, or 9.5%, to 23; and
Rauscher Pierce Refsnes
(OYOG:Nasdaq), up 1 1/4, or 8.9%, to 15 1/4. Smith Barney issue
American Physician Partners
(APPM:Nasdaq) was the largest disappointment among the session's IPOs, sliding 7/8, or 7.3%, to 11 1/8.
surged 7 1/8, or 31.8%, to a 52-week high of 29 1/2 after
agreed to acquire the company for $29.50 per share, or $1 billion. TRW moved up 1/4 to 58 7/16.
bounded 1 5/16, or 26.6%, to 6 9/32 after saying it expects to file next year a new-drug application for TLC D-99, a treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
surrendered 3 3/16, or 26%, to 9 1/8 after saying late yesterday that European regulators asked it to withdraw the marketing application for its RIGScan CR49 monoclonal antibody. The regulators said they need more information on the product, which is meant to help detect hidden tumors.
plummeted 2 5/16, or 16.7%, to a 52-week low of 11 9/16 after warning that its first-quarter net income would be "minimal," citing high inventories and price pressures. The 13-analyst estimate called for a profit of 22 cents per share versus the year-earlier 27 cents. Most other computer makers tumbled as well, with
down 1 7/16 to 29,
down 2 13/16 to 63 11/16 and
down 2 3/8 to 83 3/8.
advanced 13/16 to 105 9/16 on word that Chairman and CEO Louis Gerstner agreed to stay with Grand Bleu for five more years.
gained 3/4 to 63 5/8 after authorizing a buyback of up to $1 billion worth of stock in addition to the already-approved $500 million.
Hambrecht & Quist
soared 4 1/2, or 12.9%, to 39 3/8 on continuing takeover speculation. Also rising among second-tier brokerages were
, up 1 13/16 to 25 1/8, and
, up 1 5/8 to 27 7/8.
bounced 5 1/8, or 12.4%, to 46 3/4 after agreeing to buy
Shared Technologies Fairchild
for $640 million. Shared Technologies rose 5/8 to an all-time high of 14 5/8 and
, which holds 44% of Shared, slid 1 to 24 1/16. Intermedia beat out rival
, but Tel-Save gained 1 3/8 to 23 1/2 after receiving $237 million from Intermedia to end its $511 million merger pact with Shared. The Tel-Save windfall leaves it in better shape to pursue its unsolicited bid for
, which rose 3 3/8, or 8.1%, to 45. Got all that?
skidded 2 5/8, or 10.6%, to 22 1/2 after an appellate court ruled against it in an element of its patent infringement dispute with
Cadence Design Systems
. Cadence lost 7/8 to 26 1/16.
plunged 2 1/2, or 12.8%, to 16 3/4 after late
yesterday announcing a restructuring plan and a fourth-quarter charge.
downgraded the stock to sell from neutral.
sloughed off 1 3/16 to 36 3/8 despite late
yesterday reporting fourth-quarter operating earnings 3 cents per share better than expected and despite guiding first-quarter estimates up by 3 cents. Elsewhere in semiconductor equipment,
lost 3 to 43,
lost 2 13/16 to 44 11/16,
Kulicke & Soffa
lost 1 7/8 to 29 3/4 and
lost 1 5/8 to 37.
advanced 3 7/8, or 9%, to an all-time high of 46 7/8 after Goldman Sachs upped it to the recommended list from market perform. The company late yesterday said Chairman John Greeniaus planned to retire for health reasons as of Jan. 1.
South Korean ADRs jumped higher in reaction to the Korean government's plan to seek
International Monetary Fund
assistance with its financial disaster.
improved 1 3/16 to an all-time high of 36 3/4 on reports saying
is readying a $37-per-share ($1.3 billion) bid for the company. Meditrust edged up 1/4 to a post-offering high of 38 3/8.
rose 1 1/2 to a four-year high of 28 7/8 after
Laidlaw Environmental Services
yesterday upped its bid for the company to $30 per share. Laidlaw's move countered a $28-per-share bid for Safety-Kleen from
. Laidlaw gave up 1/8 to 4 5/8 and Philip slid 5/16 to 16.
dropped 1 1/2 to 26 and
ran up 1 11/16 to 50 11/16 as talks reportedly continued on the potential $500 million sale of DEC's network hardware business to Cabletron.
looked into the deal in a
ascended 2 9/16 to an all-time high of 63 7/16 on news that its researchers have found a way to place a cancer-inhibiting gene into cancerous cells that lacked it.
hopped 3/8, or 12%, to 3 9/16 on an upgrade to buy from hold at
Credit Suisse First Boston
climbed 2 1/16 to 38 7/8 after Bear Stearns and
both upgraded it to buy from attractive.
Abercrombie & Fitch
declined 1 13/16 to 32 7/16 after Merrill Lynch lowered it to near-term accumulate from buy, maintaining a long-term buy.