It was a day of "anothers" for the stock and bond markets: Another all-time closing high for the
Nasdaq Composite Index
, another session of heavy volume and another winning day for the 30-year Treasury bond.
Today's Market: Join the discussion on
Meanwhile, drug stocks were energized this afternoon by
surprise $82 billion takeover bid for
, which has agreed to a
merger of equals with
American Home Products
. When news of the Pfizer bid hit, the
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
immediately perked up and sprinted higher. Before the Pfizer news hit, the index was actually down a touch on the day. In the end, the drug index soared 1.8%.
The Nasdaq Comp gained 27.44, or 0.9%, to 3055.95, closing at another record high, after closing above
3000 for the first time ever
yesterday. The Comp advanced today for the sixth-straight session, but ended off its best levels of the day. The Nasdaq Comp peaked intraday at 3077.41, about 20 minutes after the opening bell. Pushing up the Comp were Internet, semiconductor, telecom, computer makers and financials.
While the market's other major averages posted gains, the advances were slight to modest.
As for blue-chips, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained 30.58, or 0.3%, to 10,639.64. Reflecting the overall strength in financials,
provided the biggest boost to the Dow.
was most active on the Big Board today, helped by two huge block trades -- one of about 18.3 million shares and the other of 13.4 million. Citigroup gained 5/8 to 53 5/8 on volume of 53.6 million shares.
Elsewhere among the major indices, the
rose 7.71, or 0.6%, to 1362.64, while the small-cap
advanced 1.44, or 0.3%, to 439.90.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index hopped 27.49, or 3.6%, to 796.81.
, up 8%, was the DOT's biggest boost.
Red Hots index rose 2.95, or 1.1%, to 268.8. The 20-stock index tracks action in particularly volatile stocks and is meant to measure so-called hot money.
Treasuries rallied. The 30-year Treasury bond advanced 19/32 to 100 13/32, yielding 6.09%.
Stocks rose thanks in part to a building feeling that perhaps the
may be out of the interest-rate-raising business this year.
Major stock proxies rose to their highs early in the session, but they couldn't get back to those levels again. A modest bout of selling took hold around 3 p.m. EST before stocks bounced back to close modestly higher. The gains in stocks and bonds came in the face of tomorrow's much-anticipated October
, which will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST.
"I think the market's got a half-decent tone to it," said Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at
. "People are waiting for tomorrow's numbers and then focus on the Fed."
One source for the optimistic sense on rates came in part via an article in
The Washington Post
by John Berry, who wrote in the lead of his story that Fed "officials appear unlikely to raise interest rates between now and the end of the year, amid several signs that the pace of growth in the nation's supercharged economy has crested."
, examined Berry's record in a recent
Federal Open Market Committee
is slated to meet on Nov. 16. Suskind pointed out that he thought the sense has changed regarding what the FOMC may or may not do at its November meeting. Two weeks ago, he said there was a feeling the Fed was going to raise rates for sure, but now, he said, the odds are maybe 50-50 that the Fed will tighten.
According to a poll conducted by
last Friday, 18 of 30 primary dealers of Treasury securities think the FOMC would raise the target on the fed funds rate by 25 basis points.
Dave Eberhart, analyst at
Optima Investment Research
in Chicago, pointed out the bond market's recent rally has helped set the stock market off too. Today the bond contract hit a five-week high.
As for the outlook for bonds, the analyst pointed out a lot hinges on what tomorrow's jobs report looks like. He said if it's a benign report, the bond market could see some pull back. He said friendly jobs data -- and it would have to be "real" friendly because the bond market has already priced in a good report -- the bond contract could hop and trade around 115 1/2.
previewed the jobs report in a story
According to a
poll, economists are projecting
to rise 313,000 in October with the unemployment rate to remain at 4.2%.
Financials were a big power in the market. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
rose 1.5%; the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
added 4.9%; and the
S&P Insurance Index
Tech and telecom gauges soared. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
rose 1%; the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
jumped 1.5%; while the
Nasdaq Telecommunications Index
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 982 million shares were exchanged while advancing stocks beat decliners 1,582 to 1,459. On the
Nasdaq Stock Market
, 1.35 billion shares traded while winners beat losers 2,020 to 1,948. New 52-week highs beat new lows 90 to 87 on the Big Board, while new highs beat new lows 210 to 86 in over-the-counter trading.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
slipped 7.30, or 0.3%, to 2969.20; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
slumped 2.63, or 0.9%, to 304.01; while the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
rose 3.39, or 0.4%, to 807.47.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
rose 37.76 to 7261.5 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
gained 23.19 to 5817.04
Thursday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.
In a surprise move, Pfizer today made an $82.4 billion offer to acquire Warner-Lambert. The offer values Warner-Lambert at $96.40 a share.
Warner-Lambert and American Home Products have
agreed to a $72 billion merger of equals, and it was not immediately clear whether Pfizer's bid would scuttle that pact.
Pfizer closed down 1 9/16 to 37, Warner-Lambert was up 6 5/16, or 7.5%, to 90 1/8 and American Home ended down 1 to 55. All three stocks were halted at 12:49 p.m. EST, but was restarted after 3:00 p.m. EST.
This morning, it looked as if there was nothing in the way of the Warner-Lambert/American Home deal.
The merger would create the world's biggest pharmaceutical company. The company would be known as
and would rake in $26 billion in annual sales. The companies said AmericanWarner's 20-member board would consist of 10 appointees from AHP, with the remainder selected by Warner-Lambert. AHP chairman and CEO John Stafford has been tapped as AmericanWarner chairman, while Warner-Lambert chairman, president and CEO Lodewijk de Vink is slated as the company CEO.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
Republic New York
jumped 3 11/16, or 5.7%, to 68 3/8 after
The Wall Street Journal
is close to forging a delayed deal to buy the bank, citing people familiar with the matter.
Optical Coating Laboratory
soared 48 15/16, or 41.1%, to 168 1/4 after
said it was buying it for $2.8 billion in stock. Optical which makes thin film coatings and components, was the top gainer on the Nasdaq market. Meanwhile
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
started coverage of JDS with an outperform rating and a price target of 225. The stock inched up 1/2 to 191 7/8.
said they have entered a $75 million e-commerce pact with
. Xoom.com slipped 7/8 to 63 3/16.
Viewer's Choice LLC
announced plans to forge a joint business with
to offer customers interactive features such as instant replays and statistics. ACTV fell 7/16 to 16 1/2 , while Liberty Digital edged up 3/4 to 33 7/16.
rose 1 7/16 to 182 1/8 and
climbed 2 1/2, or 9.6%, to 28 5/8 after saying they inked a marketing and distribution agreement
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
gained 2, or 10.8%, to 20 1/2 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating the 10-analyst estimate of 31 cents but down from the year-ago 55 cents.
American Water Works
fell 1/16 to 27 3/4 after it posted third-quarter operating earnings of 58 cents a share, missing the five-analyst estimate of 60 cents but up from a year-ago 55 cents a share.
slipped 1/16 to 10 9/16 after it reported a third-quarter loss of 71 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of 25 cents a share. A report on
said the First Call/Thomson Financial lone-analyst estimate of a 41-cent loss was
incorrect and that the company actually beat estimates. Bluefly.com said gross quarterly revenues increased by over 17% and said it completed a number of initiatives designed to increase capacity for the holiday shopping season.
added 1/16 to 81 3/8 after it posted a 14% increase in October same-store sales.
inched up 1/2 to 17 11/16 after it reported a third-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 26-cent profit.
lost 11/16, or 7.3%, to 8 3/4 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, in line with the 14-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago 24 cents.
fell 3/16 to 8 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share, which includes the beneficial effect of the premium deficiency recorded in the first quarter. The report beat the 17-analyst estimate of 11 cents and the year-ago 18-cent loss.
edged up 1/16 to 31 1/4 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating the 10-analyst estimate of 35 cents and the year-ago 33 cents.
slipped 3/4 to 37 9/16 despite boasting an 8% rise in October same-store sales.
gained 2 13/16, or 12.1%, to 26 after saying it expects to post first-quarter earnings between 74 and 76 cents a share, beating the four-analyst estimate of 64 cents a share.
lost 1 1/4 to 34 15/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 91 cents a share, missing the nine-analyst estimate by a penny and up from the year-ago 76 cents.
tacked on 2 to 52 5/8 after it said October same-store sales rose 11.6%.
joint newsroom covered October same-store sales in a
story this morning.
Offerings and stock actions
is set to price a 4 million-share IPO for
at $7 to $9 a share.
raised the estimated price range of its IPO to $20-$22 from $14-$16.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
priced a 13 million-share offering for
at $43 a share. Shares of Covad rose 7/8 to 45 1/16.
rose 8 11/16, or 19.1%, to 54 3/16 said its board approved the repurchase of up to 12 million shares.
In addition, the company announced its plans to buy
Texas Health Resource's
Harris Methodist Health Plan
for an undisclosed amount.
lost 1 5/16 to 171 1/4 after saying it set a 2-for-1 stock split.
is expected to price a 25 million-share IPO for
today between $11 to $13 a share
Morgan Stanley sliced its rating on
to neutral from outperform. Shares of Albertson's fell 3/8 to 34.
raised its price target on
to 107 from 90. Applied Materials slipped 1 3/4 to 92 3/4.
PaineWebber initiated coverage of
with a neutral rating and a price target of 80. Shares of EMC skidded 2 1/8 to 72 7/8.
Morgan Stanley rolled out coverage of
with an outperform rating and a price target of 225. JDS Uniphase popped 1/2 to 191 7/8.
Deutsche Banc Alex Brown
narrowed its fourth-quarter loss estimate for
to 5 cents from 7 cents. Jupiter jumped 3 7/8, or 10.7%, to 39 7/8.
Credit Suisse First Boston
upped its fiscal 2001 earnings estimates on
to 86 cents a share from 79 cents and maintained a strong buy rating. Micromuse soared 8 1/2, or 8.5%, to 108 1/2.
upped its price target on
to 146 from 125. Shares of Motorola hopped 3 1/4 to 106 1/2.
Merrill Lynch sliced its rating on
to a neutral from a buy. Navigant Consulting plummeted 9 7/16, or 32.6%, to 19 1/2.
raised its price target on
to 35 from 29. Photon Dynamics popped 3 1/4, or 10.7%, to 34.
cut its rating on
to market performer from buy. Starwood shares sank 2 3/16, or 9.1%, to 21 3/4.
Credit Suisse First Boston
said it upped its earnings estimates on
following a better-than-expected earnings report. The company's 1999 EPS was raised to $3.10 a share from $3.05, while 2000 EPS was raised to $3.60 from $3.55. UnitedHealth skidded 15/16 to 52.
said it has tapped Andrea Jung to replace Charles Perrin, who retired as CEO. Avon bounced 2 1/8, or 7.1%, to 31 3/4.
mounted 1/16 to 22 11/16 after it said it tapped Leroy Hanneman as its CEO.
Simon Property Group
stumbled 1/16 to 22 1/2 after it unveiled its plans to put its retail properties online by offering its tenants Internet access. Simon said it would co-mingle the technology into its brick and mortar marketing strategies. The company also plans to roll out an upgraded Simon.com Web site, which would include Simon mall Web sites.
advanced 3/4, or 10.9%, to 7 5/8 after it said it has tapped David Chamberlain as chairman and CEO.
hopped 1/4 to 34 1/2 after it said it would cut 200 to 250 jobs through a realignment and expects to realized $20 million in annual savings as a result. The company said it expects to take a fourth-quarter pretax restructuring charge of $25 million to $30 million.