By John J. Edwards III
Staff Reporter

The restless

Dow Jones Industrial Average

is sick and tired of the 7700 level after just a day. The hyperactive index charged up as high as 7791.54 this morning, lately settling back to a gain of about 55 to 7766.

Bonds are again the catalyst, as another weak economic report -- this time the

Producer Price Index

-- has sent bond prices bounding higher. The yield on the bellwether 30-year Treasury has eased to 6.71%, well under the psychologically important 6.75% threshold.

Tech stocks are mounting a recovery, with gains in

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and other big names pushing the

Nasdaq Composite Index

into record territory.

*****

Wall Street's lunch tables will no doubt buzz over the latest high-profile defection from a major brokerage house, with

Smith Barney

losing its mutual fund chief, Jessica Bibliowicz, to the

John A. Levin & Co.

unit of the

Baker Fentress

(BKF) - Get Report

closed-end fund.

Bibliowicz, who becomes president and chief operating officer at Levin, has been nearly as much of a media darling as her father, Sanford Weill, CEO of Smith Barney parent

Travelers

(TRV) - Get Report

. Both

The Wall Street Journal

and

Business Week

wrote glowing profiles of Bibliowicz last August, lauding her family-independent career path and her revolutionary effort to move Smith Barney into no-load funds.

Smith Barney's own mutual-fund performance has been mediocre lately, with none of its 11 major U.S. diversified funds in the top 25% of all such funds for the past year, according to

Lipper Analytical Services

. But Smith Barney spokeswoman Mary McDermott said the firm's funds have been "on a great uptrend," and Bibliowicz will be missed.

"The

Levin firm, which has $7.6 billion under management now, is planning on growing, and she'll have an opportunity to work with the company and create the growth," McDermott said. "It's very entrepreneurial. Apparently she's just like her father."

Levin, founded in 1982, had $5.4 billion under management in December 1995 and $6.5 billion in December 1996, said Glenn Aigen, the firm's chief financial officer. Aigen said he was unsure if increasing that growth rate would be a top priority for Bibliowicz. "She might have several priorities," he said. "I don't want to say one is A and one is B."

John Levin, who had been president and CEO of the firm that bears his name, now becomes chairman and CEO, Aigen said. Bibliowicz is "being added and not replacing," he said. "She's enhancing the current management of the firm."

*****

In other Wall Street news, hang the black bunting and muffle the drums:

WBIS+

ceases live programming today. A

Dow Jones

(DJ)

spokesman said the station, co-owned with

ITT

(ITT) - Get Report

, will broadcast

Liberty/Fox Sports

and repeats until June 30, when

Paxson Communications

(PXN)

takes over and places

Bloomberg TV

on the channel. And so it goes.

*****

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