10,000 fixation notwithstanding, stocks enjoyed a solidly positive session, thanks to leadership in the technology, transport and financial sectors.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
each set record highs, but the former again stymied media outlets' desire to unleash "Dow 10,000" specials.
Nasdaq Composite Index
, meanwhile, was the best performer of the most widely followed proxies, closing at its intraday high, up 49.91, or 2.1%, to 2431.44.
The Dow industrial average rose as high as 9970.15 before closing up 82.42, or 0.8%, to 9958.77, besting its
March 11 close of 9897.44. The S&P 500 traveled as high as 1307.54 before closing up 12.67, or 1%, to 1307.26, eclipsing its previous best of 1297.68, also set last Thursday.
"It just seems like it's more important to the media than most traders and investors," said Charles Payne, president at
Wall Street Strategies
, of the five-figure Dow. "But people saying it doesn't mean anything are totally wrong. Investors drive the market and the fact we're going to hit 10,000 is good for investor confidence. It shows momentum is still on our side."
Payne compared the mythical level to a stock split. "It doesn't mean anything officially, but you'd be remiss if you didn't buy one of these stocks that goes up 30 points" on a split, he said. "Hitting 10,000 could be anticlimactic, but the fact we do bodes very well for confidence because it shows we're moving in the right direction."
were among the Dow's biggest gainers, joined by technology components
GE rose 2.6% to an all-time high of 110 1/8 after
reiterated its near- and long-term buy recommendations. J.P. Morgan -- a frequent subject of takeover rumors -- rose 2.8% in the wake of the $16 billion merger between
In addition to J.P. Morgan, "all the old rumored stocks in the financial area are out there again," Payne said, citing
, up 3.6%, as an example. "Brokers are doing well without all the takeover stuff," he added. "More consolidation is the cherry on top."
A forecast of better-than-expected earnings by
fueled gains in the group; the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
Similarly, an effusive earnings forecast by
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
up 7.1%, Paced by the airlines, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
soared 137.14, or 4.2%, to 3404.65, eclipsing 3400 for the first time on an intraday or closing basis since Jan. 8.
"Transports took the show and ran with it," said Robert Harrington, co-head of block trading at
. "That's pretty much the big story. Plus there's the continuation of the bank consolidation theme and we saw some of the techs participate. It all bodes well for the market. The one group that concerns me is utilities. I'm not looking for them to lead, but they could act a little better."
Dow Jones Utility Average
slid 2.55, or 0.8%, to 301.96 despite the bond market's upswing. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 8/32 to 96 4/32, its yield dipping to 5.51%.
The Nasdaq was led by
closed with a flourish. The
New York Stock Exchange
trading, IBM and Hewlett-Packard were joined on the upside by
Morgan Stanley High Tech 35
Internet proxies also marched higher.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index rose 36.83, or 6.5%, to 604.83, eclipsing its previous all-time high of 588.19, set
TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index
gained 4.72, or 4.5%, to 110.19.
was a big positive influence on the DOT, rising 17.5% on news it will replace
in the Nasdaq 100. The
approved Netscape's acquisition by
, which rose 6.1%.
CMGI's entry into the Nasdaq 100 "not only helps CMGI, but validates the Internet sector," Payne said, noting the "mania psychology" is reasserting itself in Netland.
In addition to CMGI, he observed the recent performance of
, which rose 19.6% today following bullish comments by
Friedman Billings Ramsey
and is up more than 100 points since March 4, when it closed at 155 15/16.
Additionally, "second tier" Internet plays are "coming out of left field" to enjoy huge gains, he said, citing examples such as
, which gained 59.6% and
, up 110%. Winfield Capital is being looked at as the "next CMGI," Payne said.
"Historically, and from a logical point of view, you have to be concerned," he said of the re-emergence of Internet mania and the broad market's narrowness. "Having said that, you still have to participate."
In NYSE trading, 727.3 million shares traded while advancers edged declining stocks 1,525 to 1,441. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
activity 854.8 million shares were exchanged, while losers led 2,066 to 1,858. New 52-week lows led new highs 69 to 58 on the Big Board and by 85 to 80 in over-the-counter trading.
"We do need to see more improvement
in breadth, but in this new era of day trading, not everything is going to line up at every point in time," Harrington said. "I just like that transports acted well and banks are showing leadership."
As for the $64,000 question, the trader said: "10,000 seems to be a matter of time. As we head into 10,000, people might want to lighten up into the strength. But another camp says if you break through
10,000, the move toward 11,000 will be quick."
Among other indices, the
rose 2.46, or 0.6%, to 400.84, and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
fell 0.30, or 0.04%, to 720.91.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
gained 43.94, or 0.7%, to 6606.00 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
leapt 72.17, or 1.5%, to 4769.90.
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.
Fleet shed 2 9/16, or 5.7%, to 42 3/16 after agreeing to buy BankBoston for $16 billion in stock. BankBoston added 5/16 to 47 1/4. The deal, announced
last night, values BankBoston shares at $53 each. Under the agreement, BankBoston shareholders will receive 1.18 Fleet shares for each BankBoston share held. The new company will be called
and will become the nation's eighth-largest bank.
Word that famed investor
dropped his stake in
, as implied in his
annual letter to
(BRKA:NYSE) shareholders, did nothing -- literally -- to the stock, which close unchanged at 65 15/16. Also not doing much to today's record-setting major indices was this sound bite from Buffett: "Overall, you would have been better off last year if I had regularly snuck off to the movies during market hours."
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
rose 1 1/16 to 45 9/16 after ending its merger agreement with
. Chancellor Chairman Thomas O. Hicks, who is also chairman and chief executive of
Hicks Muse Tate & Furst
, was appointed to the additional role of Chancellor chief executive following the resignation of Jeffrey A. Marcus.
BT Alex. Brown
resumed coverage of Chancellor with a strong buy.
skidded 2, or 7.5%, to 24 3/4 after saying it sees $13 million in expenses from its $980 million purchase of two private optical communication companies:
had a look at how the deals play out amid ongoing Ciena takeover talk in a
story this afternoon.
tumbled 3 9/16, or 27.7%, to 9 5/16 after entering a sales and marketing pact with
. Yahoo! tacked on 3 3/8 to 179 7/16.
Dell picked up 1 9/16 to 43 3/4 after announcing it will offer
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred
speech recognition software through several business units and its new online superstore.
soared 8 11/16, or 67.5%, to an all-time high of 21 5/8 after announcing plans to give free fax-to-email service to members of
. Xoom.com lifted 3 to 69 5/8.
El Paso Energy
sloughed off 3 11/16, or 10.3%, to 32 1/16 after agreeing to acquire
for $6 billion, including the assumption of $2 billion in debt. Under the deal, each Sonat share will be converted into one share of El Paso Energy stock. Sonat lowered 7/16 to 29 5/8.
vaulted 3 3/8, or 38.9%, to 12 1/16 after agreeing to be acquired by an entity controlled by private investment fund
Tinicum Capital Partners
for $72.8 million.
Lycos hopped up 7 1/16, or 7.1%, to 105 3/4 after Peter Mills, general partner in CMGI's investment arm, said a confederation of third parties that could include CMGI was looking to buy Lycos. Last week, CMGI CEO David Wetherell quit the Lycos board to protest the merger of the company with
. CMGI, which will become a component of the Nasdaq 100 at the close of trading Wednesday, grew 28 11/16, or 17.5%, to 192 5/8. CMGI will replace Netscape, which is being acquired by America Online. AOL rose 5 7/8, or 6.1%, to an all-time high of 102; Netscape rose 6 1/16, or 7.1%, to an all-time high of 91; and USA Networks closed flat at 38.
revved up 13/16, or 12.2%, to 7 1/2 after
The Wall Street Journal
reported the company and French automaker
are in the final stages of a deal whereby Renault would buy a one-third stake in Nissan.
grew 4 1/16, or 11.8%, to 38 3/8 after
agreed to buy the 80% of the company it doesn't already own for $7.7 billion -- 45% of which will be in cash and the rest in DuPont stock. DuPont declined 1 1/2 to 56 1/4.
tanked 4 13/16, or 50.7%, to an all-time high of 4 3/4 after warning of a first-quarter loss due to an anticipated 30% decline in revenue and one-time costs associated with its merger with
, which was cancelled today. Meanwhile, Metamor climbed 2 3/4, or 19.5%, to 16 15/16. The two-analyst view called for SPR to earn 22 cents a share in the first quarter vs. the year-ago 16 cents.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
slid 3 13/16, or 20%, to 15 1/4 after saying it expects to record a first-quarter profit below the year-ago operating income of 36 cents a share. The two-analyst forecast called for 42 cents.
lost 3/4 to 25 9/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of $1.12 a share, topping the 14-analyst estimate by a nickel and moving up from the year-ago $1.
plunged 4 9/16, or 53.3%, to an all-time low of 4 after saying it expects first-quarter earnings of 12 cents to 14 cents a share. The six-analyst outlook called for a repeat of the year-ago 18 cents.
jumped 3 5/16, or 18.5%, to 21 1/4 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share, in line with the six-analyst outlook and a penny ahead of the year-earlier figure. The company also approved the repurchase of up to 2.5 million shares, or 10% of its outstanding stock.
fell 1 11/16, or 13.3%, to 11 after warning
late Friday that its first-quarter earnings will be "significantly" below the three-analyst forecast for 52 cents a share because of construction delays in Arizona.
bounced back 2 1/16, or 9.1%, to 24 5/8 after falling 39% Friday on a fourth-quarter profit warning. It did so despite a cut in 2000 and 2001 earnings estimates today by
, Britain's second-largest cable system operator, slipped 2 3/4, or 6.4%, to 40 3/8 on word it's expected to post a 1998 loss.
United Airlines parent UAL swelled 6 11/16, or 10%, to 73 3/4 after saying it expects first-quarter and full-year earnings to beat Wall Street estimates. The company sees quarter earnings around $1.35 a share, above the 10-analyst estimate of $1.12. For 1999, UAL expects to earn $10 to $12 a share, which would top the 11-analyst consensus for $9.12. BT Alex. Brown reiterated its market perform on the stock.
flew 5, or 7.8%, to 69; and
flew 3 3/4, or 6.5%, to 61 3/4.
Offerings and stock actions
ended flat at 91 7/8 after setting a 2-for-1 stock split.
increased 3/4 to 45 7/16 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform. The company issued a first-quarter earnings warning
surged 3, or 5%, to 62 5/8 after
Warburg Dillon Read
lifted the stock to buy from hold, saying the stock was oversold from Y2K concerns.
Network Solutions shot up 43 1/2, or 19.6%, to an all-time high of 265 after
Freidman Billings Ramsey
started coverage of the stock with a buy. The company said it reached its 4 millionth cumulative net registration in .com, .net and .org. Elsewhere in Netland, recent issues in the sector continued to rise. Bottomline Technologies, an electronic banking company that went public about a month ago, rocketed up 34 7/16, or 59.6%, to an all-time high of 92 1/4.
advanced 4 7/8, or 7%, to an all-time high of 74 9/16 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded the stock to strong buy from outperform.
climbed 15 3/4, or 28.6%, to an all-time high of 71 after introducing to the Philadelphia metropolitan area the company's service which provides digital communications services that connect businesses to their Internet Service Providers and employees who work at home to their corporate networks.
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
excelled 3 1/4, or 5.1%, to an all-time high of 67 1/4 after its
was rated the No. 1 online broker in
over the weekend.
Elsewhere in the sector, Charles Schwab scored 3 15/16 to an all-time high of 87 15/16 after saying it sees first-quarter earnings of 31 cents to 34 cents a share, above the current seven-analyst outlook for 26 cents and the year-ago 16 cents.
dropped 4 1/2, or 13.8%, to 28 1/8 on no discernible news. The company had no comment on the activity when the New York Stock Exchange asked for a statement.
flourished 17 1/8, or 62.6%, to an all-time high of 44 5/8 after CEO and Chairman Brent Frei appeared on
this morning. The stock surged 55% Friday after
Credit Suisse First Boston
initiated coverage with a buy.
rallied 11 3/16, or 11.7%, to an all-time high of 106 7/8 following a recent jump in laser vision correction surgery. The company's Star S2 system is used in seven out of 10 surgeries.
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