The market can wear many hats and so far, today's trading session appears to have a set of horns.
Despite Tuesday's wild ride, investors are once again embracing equity, and they're not discriminating either. By midday, both major indices continued to charge after a positive open, making for some very strange days on Wall Street.
"I came in and saw them going up and I said, 'They're back,'" said Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at
, referring to today's buying spree.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was jumping 118, or 1.1%, to 11,152.
was winning after posting first-quarter earnings that beat the consensus, while the two of the index's tech-giant components,
, were strongholds.
New York Stock Exchange
, retailers posting strong March same-store sales were being stamped with high price tags. Retail investors were filling their shopping bags with shares of
Lately the tech-laden
Nasdaq Composite Index
was surging 117, or 2.8%, to 4286, after suffering a 423.94 point, or 9.3%, loss on Monday and Tuesday. Despite the nosedive, the Comp is still on the plus side, up 2.5% for the year so far.
gave the tech sector a boost, after labeling
as the "super seven" names to hold in a turbulent market.
This week's violent swings in the market have left Wall Street wondering how long a market trend will last. Investors, with their psychology swinging from momentum to value in just two weeks, now seem to be buying anything they can get their hands on. But with first-quarter earnings season on the horizon, the question is, for how long?
"It was a 1-2 punch: first Abby Joseph Cohen and then
, which was really a surprise," said Brian Gilmartin, portfolio manager at
Trinity Asset Management
, referring to Goldman strategist Cohen's call to scale back stock holdings and Mister Softee's antitrust woes. "That was a reason to take the market down. But we're seeing corrections take place in a matter of a week. I think the market has found a bottom faster than it usually does."
"We're not going to be aggressively buying Nasdaq," said Jack Ablin, managing director at
Colonial Asset Management
. "The second and third quarters are not kind to the Nasdaq. I'd say about 80% of its gains come in the first and fourth quarter, so we're probably going to come into the second quarter with some trepidation."
Gilmartin agrees that earnings could take some of the air out of the stock market's highfliers due to last year's strong results. "The S&P 500 earnings growth in 1999 will make earnings comparisons much tougher in 2000."
Although 1999's stellar earnings might show up 2000's, Gilmartin said that strong fundamentals will keep investors dabbling in the risky tech issues that have given their wallets a rush in the past. "If you look at the way the stock have traded, it's the higher multiple stocks that have shown the most volatility," he said. "If there's nothing wrong with the fundamentals, you'll see investors going back in and buying."
In Nasdaq trading, biotech was on fire after
said it has completed the sequencing phase of one person's genome.
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
was leaping 5.1%.
Unlike biotech, the drug sector couldn't find a fix, with Dow components
Johnson & Johnson
Elsewhere in techland,
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was booming 45, or 4.6%, to 1017. However, despite edging out the analyst estimate by a penny,
was floundering, down 5 11/16, or 3.4%, to 159 7/8.
was up 17, or 1.1%, to 1504, while the small-cap
was advancing 15, or 2.8%, to 533.
Breadth was positive on moderate volume.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,782 advancers, 1,042 decliners, 618 million shares. 30 new 52-week highs, 17 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
2,760 advancers, 1,225 decliners, 1 billion shares. 30 new highs, 37 new lows.
For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, published separately.