You'd almost swear it was the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
finally kissed the media-hyped, historic 10,000 mark.
One event down, one to go.
Now the next event that will put all of this Dow 10,000 stuff behind us is for the venerable blue-chip average to
above five figures and everything will sort of, well, get back to as normal as things can be in the market these days.
Ironically, it wasn't a superstar superperformance stock that led the Dow's hop to five figures today. In fact, the push to get to 10,000 was supplied by chemical titan
, which for a while now hasn't exactly been known for its tremendous performance or being a market driver. Before the open, Union Carbide released some positive news, and its opening was delayed for a while. Once it opened, however, it wasn't long after that that the Dow hit 10,000.
The Dow broke through the 10,000 mark
for the first time at 9:50 a.m. EST. The Dow traded as high as 10,001.79, up 43.02, before coming off those highs and slipping back below five figures.
Lately, the Dow was down 21 to 9937.
Away from the drama of the Dow today, the market's major indices -- including the Dow itself -- aren't moving much at all. The
Nasdaq Composite Index
was sporting a 0.3% gain, but in this age of volatility, that's really nothing special, is it?
in San Francisco registered a yawn overall from the market.
The Nasdaq Comp advanced 7 to 2438. Among specific tech-sector indices, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was up 4.2%.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
raised its rating on several semiconductor equipment makers today, helping bolster the sector.
slipped 2 to 1305. The small-cap
slumped 1 to 400.
Internet stocks gained overall, with e-commerce issues gaining the most ground.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was down 1 to 603, while
TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index
added 1, or 1.1%, to 111.
While much has been made of Dow 10,000, particularly by the media, for a number of market participants it didn't really mean much.
"I think it's a yawner right now," said Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at
, of the big round number.
Ted Bridges, vice president and money manager at
Bridges Investment Counsel
in Omaha, Neb., said Dow 10,000 was interesting historically. But analytically, he added, "it doesn't mean anything."
He said he's focusing on where the leadership in the market and the earnings growth seems to be.
Bridges noted that it seems like the tech stocks are trying to regain their footing, but their leadership is not quite as strong as it once was. The good news is that the market is seeing other sectors fill in, including the brokerage sector, and also bank and drug stocks which have been acting pretty well lately.
Today, brokerage stocks were flying. The
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
was lately up 2.9%, in part on some price-target increases for a couple of stocks and an earnings estimate increase for
from a Morgan Stanley Dean Witter analyst.
Bridges said the two most troubling things in the market right now are that valuations are pretty high and that breadth "isn't particularly great."
Indeed. Market internals were negative. The
New York Stock Exchange
, decliners were beating advancers 1,624 to 1,173 on 409 million shares. On the
Nasdaq Stock Market
losers were leading winners 2,073 to 1,545 on 548 million shares.
On the NYSE, 50 issues had set new 52-week lows while 46 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 73 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 59.
"I don't see much action," Suskind said, adding that big trading in the market today has been limited to the larger names.
Suskind noted this morning that volume is light, and there's no momentum in the rest of the market, which to him "shows a cautionary flag."
Bridges said he's looking for stocks where the valuations are reasonable and whose earnings growth prospects are good. "That's a tough task," he said.
But not impossible.
He said lately he's been buying
Transaction Systems Architects
The 30-year Treasury bond was up 24/32 to 96 25/32, yielding 5.47%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early
Meanwhile, among other indices, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
was up 0.2% and the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was down 0.8%.
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
was down 0.8%.
Most active on the Big Board was
, with 13.3 million shares changing hands. It was up 2 9/16 to 104 9/16.
On the Nasdaq,
was most active, with 16.3 million shares changing hands. It was up 38%. More on eFax.com below.
Tuesday's Midday Movers
As noted above, Dow component Union Carbide was rising 1 7/16 to 44 15/16, off its session high of 46, after saying its first-quarter earnings will come in near 47 cents a share. The 10-analyst
consensus called for 34 cents vs. the year-ago $1.01.
Elsewhere among the gilded 30,
was climbing 1 1/2 to 85 3/4, on pace for a new high, after saying the
Food and Drug Administration
approved the expanded use of its cholesterol-lowering medicine
. Mevacor is now indicated to reduce the risk of first heart attack, unstable angina and coronary revascularization procedures. This benefit is widely seen as a class effect among the statin drugs, of which Mevacor is nowhere near the market leader.
released a bouquet of details about its planned spring IPO. The 130-year-old investment bank said it hopes to raise $3.45 billion through the 60 million-share offering. The company, which applied to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GS, expects the offering to be priced at $40 to $50 a share.
In other news:
A sampling of semiconductor equipment makers were rallying, some more than others, after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
upgraded the following to strong buy from outperform:
, which was up 2 5/16, or 5.5%, to 44 11/16;
, up 1 1/2, or 6.4%, to 25 1/8;
, up 7/8 to 40 1/8; and
, up 2 7/8, or 6.4%, to 47 7/8.
was up 2 11/16, or 6.7%, to 42 3/4 after
Hambrecht & Quist
raised the stock to buy from hold.
was up 2 5/16, or 16.3%, to 16 5/8 after announcing
agreed to use its TotalCommerce e-commerce payment services for a new Web-based store. EarthLink was up 2 1/16 to 71 3/4.
, a global Internet retailer of computer hardware, software and accessories, was up 5 1/2, or 29.7%, to 24 after unveiling its new online auction site,
eFax continued its climb, lately up 8 1/4, or 38%, to 29 3/4, on yesterday's news it will provide free fax-to-email service to
. Xoom.com, which announced a secondary offering of 4 million shares, was down 3 9/16, or 5.1%, to 66 1/2.
was soaring 27 13/16, or 163.2%, to 44 3/4 after its 3 million-share IPO priced above range a $17 a share. The company, making its market debut through
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
, is a provider of consumer Internet access and business services.
was up 13 7/8, or 12.2%, to 127 1/2 on news billionaire Paul Allen will invest up to $750 million for a controlling stake in the company.
was down 1 13/32, or 23.7%, to 4 17/32 after
BT Alex. Brown
downgraded the stock to market perform from buy.
was up 7 5/8, or 19.1%, to 47 5/8 after
started coverage at buy.
was down 5 3/8, or 7.4%, to 67 1/8 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter initiated coverage at neutral. Hambrecht & Quist began coverage at buy.
Laser Vision Centers
was up 2 9/16, or 8.3%, to 33 5/16 after reporting its February same-U.S. laser revenue rose 40% from a year ago.