Amazing what a little pessimism can do for the stock market.

With many market players and pundits suggesting the run to

Dow 10,000

was on permanent hiatus, stocks jumped solidly higher today.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

moved beyond the millennial mark several times in the waning moments of trading, hitting an apex of 10,001.51, before closing up 118.21, or 1.2% to 9997.62. The index bested the record close of 9958.77 set

Monday.

The

S&P 500

also parlayed a late-day surge to eclipse its all-time best of 1307.26, rising 18.78, or 1.4%, to 1316.55.

Aside from torturing

CNBC

producers and traders wanting to wear those "Dow 10,000" hats, the Dow's inability to sustain five figures sparked debate about whether 10,000 represents a barrier.

"I don't think it is a technical level where you'll see a significant amount of sell programs just due to the fact we hit 10,000," countered Rosanne Lang, vice president of program trading at

Cantor Fitzgerald

. "I don't think it'd be a reason for sell programs to hit. I heard a commentator on

CNBC

say that and it sounds corny to me. If it's going to sell off it'll sell off due to major fundamentals or a switch in psychology."

Regardless, blue-chip proxies enjoyed the best of both worlds as financial stocks rallied in concert with the bond market while consumer, transportation and technology names also advanced. The February

Consumer Price Index

and January trade report provided further evidence the economy remains strong but inflation in check, helping the 30-year Treasury bond rose 8/32 to 96 15/32, its yield sliding to 5.49%. (For more on the bond market and the economic reports, see today's late

Bond Focus.)

Moreover, a rise in crude prices reversed course midday; after climbing as high as $15.55, April 1999 crude oil futures closed down 5 cents at $15.

Transports stormed higher in reaction. The

Dow Jones Transportation Average

rose 96.28, or 2.9%, to 3433.07 while the

American Stock Exchange Airline Index

gained 3.9%.

FDX

(FDX) - Get Report

was a big influence on the transportation average, rising 5.6% after posting better-than-expected earnings and setting a 2-for-1 stock split.

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

and

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

led Dow gainers and most financial names rallied. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index

climbed 3.1% while the

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

gained 4.5%.

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

was the biggest drag on the Dow, falling 3.6% after late yesterday saying the dollar's rally could mean first-quarter earnings estimates are too high.

Technology stocks were also big participants in the broad market's advance, although

Compaq

(CPQ)

fell 4.1%.

Still, most other tech bellwethers were notably higher.

America Online

(AOL)

rose 6.5% to another new high, 116 5/8, after completing its acquisition of

Netscape

. Because of its recent stock price appreciation and the addition of Netscape,

Standard & Poor's

said AOL's weighting in the S&P 500 index has increased to 1.04% from 0.94%, prompting index fund managers to add more shares accordingly.

One market watcher, who requested anonymity, noted AOL's recent rise has brought its market capitalization to over $100 billion, or roughly two-and-a-half times that of

Motorola

(MOT)

, which rose 4.5% today. "It's ridiculous," he said. "Guys are holding their nose and buying the stock. But they're buying."

'I think it acts very well,' D.A. Davidson's Jim Volk said of the market. 'Yes, everything is expensive and the breadth is narrow, but every time you get these minicorrections it bounces right back.'

Thanks to AOL's rise,

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index gained 8.53, or 1.4%, to a record 617.46. The DOT was also fueled by

CMGI

(CMGI)

up 5.2% after setting a 2-for-1 stock split, and

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

, up 5.6% after receiving a new buy recommendation from

Salomon Smith Barney

. Meanwhile,

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

gained 6.90, or 6.3%, to an all-time high of 116.61.

The completing of the AOL-Netscape deal also unwittingly aided

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, which has claimed the AOL-Netscape combination proves the

Justice Department's

antitrust case has no merit.

Microsoft rose 3.2%, helping the

Nasdaq Composite Index

gain 33.99, or 1.4%, to 2426.96.

Other bellwethers on the rise included

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, which rose 1% after receiving

positive comments from

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

and from

Merrill Lynch's

new semiconductor analyst, Joe Osha. The

Nasdaq 100

rose 1.9% and the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

gained 0.9%.

More than Dow 10,000, traders said today's action was influenced by tomorrow's triple-witching session, when index futures, index options and stock options expire concurrently.

"I think a lot of times people anticipate the triple-witch and the consensus has been it will be to the buy side," said Jim Volk, co-head of institutional trading at

D.A. Davidson

in Portland, Ore. "People buy today because they figure the market will open up tomorrow and rally into the close" because of the expirations.

Volk, who has been skeptical of the market's advance, was impressed by its performance today.

"I think it acts very well," he said. "Yes, everything is expensive and the breadth is narrow, but every time you get these minicorrections it bounces right back."

In

New York Stock Exchange

trading, 834.6 million shares traded while advancers bested declining stocks 1,559 to 1,353. In

Nasdaq Stock Market

activity 943.8 million shares were exchanged while losers led 1,993 to 1,927. New 52-week lows led new highs 66 to 45 on the Big Board and by 97 to 71 in over-the-counter trading.

More Bullishness From Goldman

"What's going on is we went up 10% in four weeks and -- forget about 10,000 -- that's a long way to go in a short period of time," said Al Goldman, chief market strategist at

A.G. Edwards & Sons

in St. Louis. "Yesterday and the day before the market showed normal signs of fatigue, which it showed early today. Now it's getting back some of its energy."

Goldman acknowledged the lackluster breadth figures but noted upside volume more than doubled down volume on the NYSE, 545.6 million to 250.8 million.

Saying triple-witching "tends to help," Goldman foresees the Dow eclipsing 10,000 tomorrow, "if not Monday. Then we'll got to about 10,300 before we take another pause to refresh."

Perhaps because of his penchant for using phrases like "pause to refresh," or because of A.G. Edwards' locale, Goldman has not received the accolades of other market seers. Yet he has been one of the market's most vociferous bulls in recent years, and thus more right than not. More importantly, perhaps, he remains ever optimistic.

"I think we're going to go higher," he said. "This bull market is based on a very strong, very positive economic environment. It's the old Goldilocks story. We're growing at a healthy pace with inflation benign with a marketplace dominated by a mood of people wanting to buy and hold stocks for the long-term and investors in a 'glass is half full rather than half empty' attitude. That's the fuel for a bull market."

The performance of

AMR

(AMR)

, which rose 8% despite an earnings warning

late yesterday, embodies that attitude, he said. Investors recognized the shortfall was due to the pilots' strike and not operations and judged the news to be "ancient history."

Among other indices, the

Russell 2000

rose 1.12, or 0.3%, to 399.55; the

Dow Jones Utility Average

gained 3.75, or 306.16; and the

American Stock Exchange Composite Index

fell 0.97, or 0.1%, to 714.86.

Elsewhere in North American equities, the

Toronto Stock Exchange 300

crept down 7.38 to 6586.44 and the

Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index

crept up 9.63 to 4864.80.

Thursday's Company Report

By Heather Moore
Staff Reporter

(

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.

)

As noted above, the Internet sector demanded that blue-chips share today's glitzy record stardom.

CMGI vaulted 9 3/16, or 5.2%, to 184 13/16 after last night setting a 2-for-1 stock split. Also,

The Wall Street Journal

reported that the company will allow the proposed merger of

Lycos

(LCOS)

and

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

to go to a shareholder vote instead of immediately proposing an alternative. Lycos lost 4 1/4 to 97 3/4; USA Networks rose 1 to 38 9/16.

Elsewhere in Netland,

Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Report

scored 5 1/2, or 19.1%, to 34 3/8 after it and Germany's

Bertelsmann

filed a registration statement with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

for an IPO for

barnesandnoble.com

, which will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol BNBN.

BT Alex. Brown

reinitiated coverage on Barnes & Noble and

Borders

(BGP)

, which lifted 7/8, or 6.1%, to 15 1/8, with buy ratings.

Rival Amazon.com climbed 7 3/8, or 5.6%, to 138 7/16 after Salomon Smith Barney started coverage with a buy and a price target of 175 a share. Salomon began coverage of

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

, which expanded 5 1/16 to 160 3/4, with an outperform.

Meanwhile,

drugstore.com

, a privately held online pharmacy in which Amazon.com has a 40% stake, announced an agreement with

Excite

(XCIT)

promoting drugstore.com on select Excite portions of Netscape's

Netcenter

. Excite tacked on 3 7/8 to 113; Netscape's new parent, America Online, grew 7 1/16, or 6.5%, to an all-time high of 116 1/8.

Still elsewhere,

Safeguard Scientifics

(SFE) - Get Report

soared 19 1/16, or 35.1%, to an all-time high of 73 3/8 after the high-tech venture capital firm announced the first investment under its new focus on Internet companies announced earlier this week. Yesterday, the company said it acquired a 20% interest in

Extant

. Also,

First Albany

reinitiated coverage of the stock with an accumulate and near-term price target of 100 a share.

Chase

(CMB)

flourished 1 1/2 to 83 7/8 on a

Wall Street Journal

report that Chairman and Chief Executive Walter V. Shipley has made informal overtures to potential merger partners on Wall Street in the past year and that he has offered senior execs the possibility of a CEO slot in the merged firm. Among the firms approached, according to the

Journal

:

Goldman Sachs

,

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

(MWD)

and J.P. Morgan. In general, financial stocks glowed today, with J.P. Morgan up 3 11/16 to 124 3/16 and American Express up 6 11/16, or 5.5%, to 127 5/8.

J.P. Morgan Securities

started coverage of AXP at buy with a 12-month price target of 150.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Advanced Lighting Technologies

(ADLT)

advanced 2 15/16, or 40.5%, to 10 1/4 after last night saying

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

agreed to buy a $20.6 million stake in the company. Advanced Lighting said it plans to issue preferred shares to GE which convert into about 3 million Advanced Lighting shares at a $6.75 conversion rate. GE added 1 9/16 to 110.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

sliced off 1 7/8 to 82 1/8 after saying it will try out

Lucent's

(LU)

new switching enhancement designed to bring Internet protocol capabilities to voice networks. Lucent gave up 7/8 to 102 5/8. Meanwhile,

The Wall Street Journal

reported AT&T is preparing for a massive bond sale next week that could add as much as $8 billion to its coffers.

Audiohighway.com

(AHWY)

shot up 4 5/8, or 53.6%, to 13 1/4 after agreeing to provide audio content to Microsoft's MSN Web Events site. Separately, at a launch event for Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 5.0 browser,

Bill Gates

announced plans to release the second edition of the company's Windows 98 operating system in the fall.

Circuit City Stores

(CC) - Get Report

rallied 7 1/8, or 10.3%, to an all-time high of 76 1/8 on word it might sell a stake in its

Digital Video Express

business to

Blockbuster Video

.

Staff Leasing

(STFF)

flew 4 11/16, or 45.5%, to 15 1/16 after a unit of France's

Paribas

made an unsolicited $17.50-a-share bid for the remaining shares in the company it doesn't already own.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Aetrium

(ATRM)

sank 1 1/2, or 20%, to 6 1/8 after last night warning of lower first- and second-quarter earnings due to weak conditions in the semiconductor industry. The company expects to post a net loss of 22 cents to 24 cents a share for the first quarter. The four-analyst view called for a loss of 13 cents vs. the year-ago profit of 27 cents. Aetrium also said it cut its workforce by about 10%.

American Airlines

parent AMR climbed 4 5/8, or 8%, to 62 1/8 despite last night's first-quarter earnings warning. Apparently the stock was helped by the company's other announcement -- that it will repurchase up to $500 million in stock. Blaming its 10-day pilot sickout, the airline said it sees earnings of 30 cents to 35 cents a share. The 11-analyst forecast called for 65 cents vs. the year-ago $1.62. Today, BT Alex. Brown lowered its first-quarter estimate for the company to 30 cents a share from 70 cents.

Carnival

(CCL) - Get Report

closed flat at 45 1/16 after posting first-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, topping the 19-analyst estimate by 2 cents and moving ahead of the year-ago 18 cents.

CKE Restaurants

(CKR)

dribbled down 5 1/8, or 21.6%, to 18 5/8 after recording fourth-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, a penny short of the 11-analyst outlook but above the year-ago 24 cents.

CSK Auto

(CAO)

soured 2, or 5.8%, to 32 1/4 even after last night reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, 2 cents above expectations.

Engelhard

(EC) - Get Report

declined 1 1/8, or 6.2%, to 17 1/8 after last night saying it sees first-quarter earnings of about 28 cents a share because of difficult year-ago comparisons in its volatile platinum operations. The three-analyst estimate called for 32 cents vs. the year-ago 30 cents.

FDX excelled 5 3/16, or 5.6%, to an all-time high of 98 1/8 after posting third-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, including costs from contingency plans related to the

FedEx

pilot negotiations and merger expenses related to its acquisition of

Caliber

. That's higher than the 12-analyst forecast of 41 cents but below the year-ago 65 cents. FDX also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Four Media

(FOUR)

advanced 27/32, or 14%, to 7 after posting second-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share, 4 cents higher than the five-analyst view and ahead of the year-ago 7 cents.

General Cable

(GCN)

tanked 3, or 23.5%, to an all-time low of 9 3/4 after last night warning it expects to report first-quarter earnings of 15 cents to 17 cents a share due to pricing pressure in the building wire market. The four-analyst view called for 37 cents vs. the year-ago 54 cents. Today, Merrill Lynch lowered the stock to intermediate-term accumulate from buy while maintaining its long-term buy.

Warburg Dillon Read

dropped it to buy from strong buy.

Italy's

Gucci

(GUC)

pushed up 4 3/8, or 6.7%, to 70 following a partial earnings announcement for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31. The release, previously scheduled for Monday, said the company's 1999 net profit was $195 million, up from $175.5 million in 1998.

3M shed 2 3/4 to 73 5/8 after executives said the dollar's rally could mean that the nine-analyst consensus calling for first-quarter earnings of 93 cents a share is too high. The company made 98 cents in the year-ago period. Merrill Lynch lowered its 1999 and 2000 earnings estimates for the company, saying, "Sales and currency were not as positive as we were anticipating in January and February."

RF Monolithics

(RFMI)

slid 3 7/16, or 32.5%, to an annual low of 7 1/8 after last night reporting second-quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, including $300,000 in research and development costs. The four-analyst outlook called for 17 cents vs. the 18 cents. The company also warned its second-quarter sales could come in flat.

Stericycle

(SRCL) - Get Report

hopped up 1 1/4, or 8.6%, to 15 3/4 after beating fourth-quarter earnings estimates by 6 cents a share last night with a profit of 20 cents.

Tektronix

(TEK)

added 1 1/4, or 7%, to 19 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, on target with the eight-analyst estimate but behind the year-ago 67 cents.

Analyst actions

Anthracite

(AHR)

picked up 9/16, or 8.6%, to 7 1/8 after

Prudential Securities

upped the stock to accumulate from hold.

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

tacked on 3 7/16 to an all-time high of 109 1/2 after

Credit Suisse First Boston

started coverage with a buy and a price target of 120 a share.

Egghead.com

(EGGS)

reeled in 5, or 29.6%, to 21 7/8 after Piper Jaffray initiated coverage with a strong buy.

Network Associates

(NETA)

dropped 8 15/16, or 21.7%, to 32 1/4 after

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

slashed the stock to buy from strong buy. There's also concern on the Street that the company will miss analysts' first-quarter earnings estimates.

Sensormatic Electronics

(SRM)

jumped 1 3/8, or 15.8%, to 10 1/16 after

Lehman Brothers

raised it to buy from outperform.

Miscellany

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

lifted 4 1/2, or 13.2%, to 38 1/2 after naming James R. Tobin president and chief executive. Tobin has served as president and CEO of

Biogen

(BGEN)

. Yesterday, the

Food and Drug Administration

allowed Boston Scientific to market the

Constellation

mapping catheter, which is used to diagnose abnormal heart beats. Today, Credit Suisse First Boston upgraded the stock to buy from hold.

CDnow

(CDNWD)

changed its name to CDnow/N2K and said it will now trade under the symbol CDNWD. The stock rose 15/16, or 5.1%, to 19 7/16.

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

picked up 2 to 86 after saying its investigational Cox-2 specific inhibitor,

Vioxx

, relieved moderate to severe acute pain to the same degree and in the same amount of time as high doses of two leading traditional medicines in studies of menstrual and dental-surgery pain.

Motorola surged 3 1/8 to 72 5/8 after unveiling a new line of digital personal communications products and promising Internet-browsing capability across its entire digital mobile phone range in 2000 at the

CeBIT

exhibition in Hannover, Germany.