St. Valentine came a day early for this market. And like so many tentative suitors, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
got cold feet this morning after a passionate burst drove the blue-chip indicator through the 7000 mark yesterday.
The major indices frowned slightly this morning, perhaps because people are putting their money in roses for the day.
The ill humor had no basis in the economy, which kissed the bond market with a surprising 0.3% fall in the
Producer Price Index
. A 0.3% increase had been expected. Like a jaded lover, bonds said: "Show me more!" While the yield remained low at 6.54%, no major rally ensued.
The preoccupation with love and flowers hasn't stopped several issues from soaring.
traded heavily to the upside after announcing it would see a gain in the second quarter from a secondary offering of its
unit. The semiconductor maker also said it would benefit from rising DRAM prices.
also skipped ahead on news that
will buy 2 million new shares of the drug maker's stock. The two companies also agreed to collaborate on new products.
With all the news swirling around the possible pilots strike at
, parent company
Greenwich Air Services
both took off this morning on news that the aircraft engine manufacturers will merge in a deal worth about $320 million.
Blue-chips, which have powered this rally, took a break this morning. Widely held stocks like
Johnson & Johnson
Procter & Gamble
Merck & Co.
Lending to the Nasdaq decline was
, which said sales in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 will be lower than expected. According to
, a financial data service, analysts are expecting 18 cents a share.
Pressure on technology issues also drove Nasdaq down.
bucked the trend, gaining.
A nice, long three-day weekend seems just the remedy for a stock market that has worked hard this week.
By Suzanne Kapner