Late Rally Pops Indices Higher

The Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 turned in solid sessions, but the Russell 2000 and breadth were to the downside.
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Although the major market indices managed to close out a choppy session with solid gains, market breadth was still negative as decliners edged advancers on both the

New York Stock Exchange

and the

Nasdaq Stock Market

.

A nice upsurge around 3:45 p.m. EST helped the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, the

S&P 500

and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

close around their session highs.

The Dow rose 82.65, or 0.9%, to 9203.32. The S&P 500 advanced 8.76, or 0.7%, to 1233.95. The Nasdaq Comp jumped 30.23, or 1.3%, to 2369.11. The

Russell 2000

, however, slumped 0.33, or 0.1%, 422.11.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index gained 6.58, or 1.3%, to 496.59.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately down 19/32 to 101 31/32, yielding 5.12%.

On the NYSE, decliners beat advancers 1,519 to 1,440 on 726.2 million shares. On the Nasdaq losers trumped winners 2,100 to 1,990 on 874.1 million shares, ending a streak of 12 consecutive sessions with Nasdaq volume above 1 billion shares.

On the NYSE, 49 issues set new 52-week lows while 37 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 87 issues set new highs while new lows totaled 25.

Most active on the Big Board was

Compaq

(CPQ)

with 11.7 million shares changing hands. It was up 7/16 to 46 5/8. This morning This morning, Compaq and

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

announced a U.S. marketing relationship.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active with 25.6 million shares changing hands. It was up 5 5/8 to 161 7/8. Mister Softee today set a 2-for-1 stock split effective March 12. Meanwhile, the software giant and

NTL

(NTLI)

of Britain agreed to jointly develop broadband services for delivery to customers in the U.K. and Ireland. In addition, Microsoft will make a $500 million investment in NTL. NTL surged 12, or 17.7%, to 79 3/4.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup

.

2:58 p.m.: Calm Prevails, Still, as Session Moves On

Stocks were little changed as the market stumbled into the final hour of trading. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 14 to 9135.

Dow component

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

this afternoon posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share, in line with the 10-analyst

First Call

consensus estimate and up from the year-earlier $1.04. American Express lately was up 1 5/16 to 99 13/16.

The

S&P 500

was up 1 to 1267. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 12 to 2351. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 421.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 2 to 493.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately down 16/32 to 102 2/32, yielding 5.12%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,658 to 1,267 on 565 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 2,117 to 1,829 on 685 million shares.

On the NYSE, 42 issues had set new 52-week lows while 34 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 80 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 19.

On the Big Board,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

was most active, with 9.2 million shares changing hands. It was down 2 1/8 to 86 1/8. Before the open, AT&T reported earnings of $1.00 a share, in line with expectations and up from the year-ago 69 cents.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active, with 19.4 million shares changing hands. It was up 6 11/16 to 162 15/16. Microsoft set a 2-for-1 stock split effective March 12. Meanwhile, Mister Softee and

NTL

(NTLI)

of Britain agreed to jointly develop broadband services for delivery to customers in the U.K. and Ireland. In addition, Microsoft will make a $500 million investment in NTL. NTL jumped 13 3/16, or 19.5%, to 81.

Stocks were mostly higher -- with the exception of the small-cap

Russell 2000

-- as the tech-laden

Nasdaq Composite Index

led the market's main barometers on the plus side.

The Nasdaq Comp was lately up 15 to 2354. The Russell 2000 was lately down 1 to 422.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 30 to 9150. A host of Dow components reported earnings, with all of the companies reporting exceeding or meeting analysts' expectations.

The

S&P 500

was up 4 to 1229.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 5 to 495.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately down 17/32 to 102 1/32, yielding 5.12%.

Market internals were negative.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,555 to 1,289 on 459 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were beating winners 2,022 to 1,806 on 576 million shares.

On the NYSE, 37 issues had set new 52-week lows while 29 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 76 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 18.

Focus: LucasVarity Says No to Federal-Mogul

British auto-parts maker

LucasVarity

(LVA)

has rebuffed a proposed buyout from

Federal-Mogul

(FMO) - Get Report

, Federal-Mogul said.

Federal-Mogul said LucasVarity informed it in writing today that it wasn't willing to enter into discussions with it.

LucasVarity surged on the news and was lately up 6 3/4, or 18.6%, to 43, while Federal-Mogul was down 1 1/4 to 62.

1 p.m.: Midday Musings: Stocks Suspended with Little Animation

11:53 a.m.: Stocks Keep Drifting Near Unchanged

The major stock market averages were mostly higher in a choppy session as investors digest a host of earnings reports.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 12 to 9133. Several Dow components reported earnings today, including:

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

,

Chevron

(CHV)

,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

,

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

,

Proctor & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

and

Union Carbide

(UK)

.

Chevron, Citigroup and 3M bested Wall Street estimates, while AT&T, Proctor & Gamble and Union Carbide reported results in line with expectations.

Elsewhere, the

S&P 500

was up 3 to 1228. The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 12 to 2351. The

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 421.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 4 to 494.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 20/32 to 101 30/32, yielding 5.12%.

Lingering concerns over Brazil and China continue to lurk in the back of many traders and investors' minds. This morning, Chinese Premier

Zhu Rongji

said his country's currency, the yuan, would not be devalued.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,544 to 1,181 on 305 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 1,866 to 1,684 on 393 million shares.

On the NYSE, 22 issues had set new 52-week highs while 29 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 68 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 14.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active, with 6.5 million shares changing hands. It was down 5/8 to 45 9/16. This morning, Compaq and

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

announced a U.S. marketing relationship.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 12.6 million shares. It was up 5 13/16 to 162. Microsoft set a 2-for-1 stock split effective March 12. As of Dec. 31, Microsoft had about 2.5 billion common shares outstanding. Meanwhile, Microsoft and

NTL

(NTLI)

of Britain agreed to jointly develop broadband services for delivery to customers in the U.K. and Ireland. In addition, Microsoft will make a $500 million investment in NTL to accelerate deployment of high-speed voice, video and data services over its national fiber-optic telecommunications networks and to continue the company's introduction of advanced Internet, telephone and cable television services over its broadband facilities. NTL surged 10 7/8, or 16.1%, to 78 1/2.

Tech Focus

Among the major tech indices, the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 0.2%, the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 0.3%, the

Nasdaq 100

was up 0.4% and the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was down 1.1%.

In Netland-related news,

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

announced a national media and marketing promotional program intended to span national network and cable television properties and the Internet.

In other news,

uBid

(UBID)

posted a loss of 24 cents a share, before a charge, down from the year-ago loss of 4 cents.

In the Newsletters

Microsoft has delayed the release of

Windows 2000 Beta 3

from March to April, but the software giant insists its flagship operating system is still on track for final release in the second half of this year, according to a story in the latest edition of

Computer Reseller News

. Microsoft has been roundly and repeatedly criticized for delays in the release of Windows 2000, the software formerly known as

Windows NT 5.0

, the article said.

Elsewhere in the issue,

Computer Reseller News

reports that

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

has stepped up its efforts in the mobile market by introducing a new set of

K6-2

chips for notebook computers.

11:01 a.m.: Market Pulls Back to Hug Break-Even

Stocks quickly surrendered their early gains and slumped, but the

Nasdaq Composite Index

and the

S&P 500

have managed to again rise above unchanged.

The Nasdaq Comp was lately up 3 to 2342, having popped up 1% early on. The S&P was up 1 to 1226, also well off its best levels.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

lately was down 4 to 9116.

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

was the biggest drag on the Dow, slumping 3 1/4 to 135 15/16. Shortly before Friday's closing bell the drug giant announced it would not begin Phase III studies of its MK-869 drug to treat depression.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 5 to 495, off its highs. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 422.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was down 4 3/4 to 118 1/4 on a negative mention in

The Wall Street Journal

.

The 30-year Treasury bond recovered some ground, lately down 11/32 to 102 7/32 and yielding 5.10%.

Notable on the upside were forest and paper product issues.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded

Georgia-Pacific

(GP)

to strong buy from outperform and

Louisiana Pacific

(LPX) - Get Report

to outperform from neutral. Georgia-Pacific was lately up 3 5/8 to 63 5/8, while Louisiana Paper was up 7/8 to 18 3/8. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest and Paper Product Index

was up 3.5%.

Earnings are big on the minds of investors today as another week of earnings reports stream forth. This morning people are trying to analyze the fourth-quarter earnings that have come out and trying to make some predictions for the first quarter, said Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at

Ryan Beck

.

The currency crisis in Brazil and worries over China are weighing on the market, said Suskind.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,411 to 1,157 on 218 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were beating winners 1,715 to 1,579 on 290 million shares.

On the NYSE, 17 issues had set new 52-week highs while 25 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 60 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 12.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active, with 5.5 million shares changing hands. It was down 7/16 to 45 3/4. This morning, Compaq and

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

announced a strategic U.S. marketing relationship. Under the agreement, Compaq later this quarter will feature an eBay icon exclusively on its

Prosignia Desktop 310

and

Notebook 210

personal computers. In turn, eBay will promote Compaq's Prosignia computers at more than 90 trade-show events throughout the year.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 9.4 million. It was up 4 9/16 to 160 13/16. Microsoft set a 2-for-1 stock split effective March 12. As of Dec. 31, Microsoft had about 2.5 billion common shares outstanding. Meanwhile, Microsoft and

NTL

(NTLI)

of Britain agreed to jointly develop broadband services for delivery to customers in the U.K. and Ireland. In addition, Microsoft will make a $500 million investment in NTL to accelerate deployment of high-speed voice, video and data services over its national fiber-optic telecommunications networks and to continue the company's introduction of advanced Internet, telephone and cable television services over its broadband facilities.

9:47 a.m.: Stocks Rise in Early Action

Technology and Internet stocks were shining early on as the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 1% while

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index jumped 1.9%.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 24 to 2363. TheStreet.com index was up 9 to 499.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 36 to 9156. The

S&P 500

was up 7 to 1232. The

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 424.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 17/32 to 102 1/32, yielding 5.12%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

America Online (AOL) , up 3 5/16 to 143 3/4

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Broadcast.com (BCST) , up 12 1/8 to 148 3/8

: The company and

Softbank

of Japan said they're joining up to launch a Japanese language-based Internet audio and video programming concern.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Jabil Circuit (JBL) - Get Report, down 13/16 to 69 3/16

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

AgriBioTech (ABTX) - Get Report, down 2 1/16 to 10

.