Oh, wouldn't it just be precious if tomorrow -- exactly one month from the

day the almighty

Dow Jones Industrial Average

struck 10,000 -- the increasingly plump blue-chip proxy took ownership of the next millennial mark?


yesterday's economically sensitive cyclical stars continuing to stand on the index's side (save the financials), special Dow fanfare just may hit the networks before the week's close. All this as market watchers continue to point to low interest rates, a healthy domestic economy and a recovering global economy as the main reasons for inexhaustible big-cap moves skyward.

"The things that will continue to move this market are low inflation, low interest rates and improved productivity," said Dick Stein, chief technical analyst at

Noble Financial Group

in Boca Raton, Fla. "The only other thing you could ask for is a reduction in taxes, but I'm not looking for that cherry on top of the whipped cream."

As for whether there is merit to the mounting argument that markets abroad aren't as bleak as they once were, Stein said: "A recovery in the Pacific Rim will initially help the export situation, adding demand for our products. And


(CL) - Get Report


Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report



(MCD) - Get Report

will benefit. And it will push oil prices higher, but it could also increase inflation. So in every good, there is some bad."

America's economic superhero,



Alan Greenspan

, spent the morning speaking before a


subcommittee, but his testimony on a financial services modernization bill didn't appear to be having any effect on the markets.

The Dow lately was up 41 to 10,872, off its session high of 10,900.72 but still in record territory. Boosting the average were lower-multiple cyclical names


(AA) - Get Report






(CAT) - Get Report



(DD) - Get Report


Union Carbide



Energy stocks





(XON) - Get Report

continued to benefit from yesterday's news of Azerbaijan's agreement to develop oil fields. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was rising 3.4%.

But financial giants

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report



(C) - Get Report

, which had been rising with the cyclicals, were hit with a bout of profit-taking.


(IBM) - Get Report

also was returning recent gains.

"IBM started acting like a Net stock," Stein said. "Most of its holders would be happy to see

the stock's recent move in a year. It's very hard to exaggerate the potential of the information-technology group, from voice to computer. It's a very compelling story, and will certainly take us to the next millennium."

The strategist, however, expects seasonal factors to cool off the tech sector following this first-quarter earnings season. "You just wanna see this rotation back into tech not get ahead of itself," he said. "I'd love to see them suffer for a month -- hit that slowing period in May after earnings. Then in June, we'll see the end of the second quarter not look as well as the first quarter. In July through October, we'll start to accumulate again." Stein sticks to his year-end Dow target of 11,250, saying, "My wife has never called me conservative, but the stock market might."

Today also looked like a good day for techs to make sure they don't get ahead of themselves. Following a short excursion into positive airspace, the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 17 to 2585, although above its intraday low of 2574.51. The

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was down 1.9% and the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was down 1%.

Those teen-techs, the Internets, also were caught stretching their legs.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was falling 24 to 673.

Stein attributed the pullback in Internet stocks to companies such as

America Online


, down 2.3%, and



beating earnings estimates but not whisper numbers. "These undefined whisper numbers are causing some problems as people's expectations continue to exceed

First Call

numbers. Net stocks are mostly played through the Net so it's not institutional buying, which tends to have a better realization of expectations. It's like that movie your friends tell you to see because they just loved it. You go and it's all right, but you expected more."

The broader

S&P 500

was losing 2 to 1361, and the small-cap

Russell 2000

-- which now seems not quite the rotation beneficiary it had seemed to be -- was unchanged at 435. For those Dow theorists in the crowd, the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

was up 0.7%.

Among individual names,

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

was plunging 48.5% after restating earnings results due to improperly recorded software sales. The news was exerting some pressure on the sector, as the

S&P Health Care Index

(which does not count McKesson as a component) was down 1.8%.

Market internals were mixed. On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were leading decliners 1,670 to 1,172 on 542 million shares. But the downs had the ups 1,946 to 1,767 on 581 million shares in

Nasdaq Stock Market

activity. New 52-week highs were leading new lows 57 to 20 on the Big Board and 67 to 41 on the Nasdaq.

The 30-year Treasury was lowering 23/32 to 95 3/32, pushing its yield to 5.59%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early

Bond Focus.)

Wednesday's Midday Movers

By Thomas Lepri
Staff Reporter

There's only one upside to all this pain for McKesson: At least the


wholesale. Shares of the drug wholesaler were getting rocked at midday, lately down 31 3/4 to 34, or 48.5%, after the company restated its fourth-quarter earnings to 56 cents a share from 62 cents, citing improper recording of software sales. McKesson also restated its fiscal 1999 earnings to $1.97 from $2.06, and revised its fiscal 2000 goal downward to $2.50 from $3.

After an early surge, America Online had fallen back into its

overnight funk, lately down 3 9/16 to 149 7/16. AOL reported third-quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, beating the 34-analyst First Call estimate by 2 cents and up from the year-ago 4 cents. The numbers don't include results from


, which AOL acquired March 17 in a pooling-of-interests transaction, or other one-time items. TheStreet.com examined the report in

a story last night.

Day 2 of life in the public equities market is going well for digital communications firm



, which began trading yesterday. The stock lately was up 14 7/8 to 48 7/16, or 44.6%.

In other news:


(AEG) - Get Report

was up 4 15/16 to 95 1/8, or 5.5%. The stock went ex-dividend today.

Specialty chemicals maker

Lawter International


is up 3 1/8 to 12 1/16, or 35.0%, on news that

Eastman Chemical

(EMN) - Get Report

will buy it for $400 million in cash, or $12.25 a share, and about $100 million in debt assumption.

First Liberty Financial


is up 8 1/2 to 31, or 38.1%, on news that North Carolina bank



is buying it in a $500 million stock swap. First Liberty shareholders will get 0.8525 BB&T for each First Liberty share, worth about $33.25 based on Monday's closing prices.



the world's largest manufacturer of stainless steel and silver-plated flatware, is up 3 1/2 to 24 3/4, or 16.5%, after its board of directors rejected an unsolicited takeover offer of $30 a share from glassware maker


(LBY) - Get Report


"Whoa ... we've got a rocket!" wrote one investor on

Yahoo!'s message board for

U.S.-China Industrial Exchange


, an obscure distributor medical and industrial equipment in China and Hong Kong. Shares of the company, known as Chindex, were up 7 1/16, or a whopping 128.4%, to 13 on apparently no news whatsoever.

Shares of auto parts manufacturer



have lately jumped 7 1/4 to 19 1/2, or 59.2%, after the U.K.'s

TI Group

said it will buy the auto parts manufacturer for about $570 million in cash and assumed debt. Walbro shareholders will get $20 cash for each Walbro share under the deal.

Earnings/revenue movers



is up 7 to 88 5/8, or 8.6%, after the company reported first-quarter operating earnings of $1.08 a share, beating the 14-analyst estimate of $1.01 and up from the year-ago operating earnings of 90 cents.

In other earnings news: