Cautiously dipping their feet in the market's turbulent waters, investors sent market proxies higher today. Amid the backdrop of a failed rally in the bond market, their shallow confidence was demonstrated by lackluster volume and an afternoon sag that left some traders checking to make sure they had all 10 toes.
Still, equity proxies were able to withstand the turnabout in bonds as value stocks again went to market as the best relative performers while growth names, led by chipmakers, went "wee, wee, wee" into the close.
Ahead of tomorrow's much-anticipated
Consumer Price Index
report, the price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 5/32 to 88 7/32, its yield rising to 6.12%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose as high as 10,682.06 before closing up 31.66, or 0.3%, to 10,594.99.
Dow gainers were led by
Procter & Gamble
Broader market averages demonstrated a similar pattern to the Dow. The
rose 7.16, or 0.6%, to 1301.16 but off its session best of 1310.75. The
climbed as high as 435.41 before closing up 2.48, or 0.6%, to 434.01.
Nasdaq Composite Index
couldn't sustain an early rise as high as 2434.52, but it overcame a brief drop below break-even late in the day to close up 16.36, or 0.7%, to 2414.67.
were standouts among Nasdaq heavyweights, while semiconductor stocks again outperformed. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
rose 2.7% while the
New York Stock Exchange
trading, SOX component
rose 4.7% to an all-time high of 89 15/16 after receiving a $400 million contract to provide digital cellular service and equipment in Brazil.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index rose 1.95, or 0.4%, to 504.08 after rising as high as 513.25 early on and then falling as low as 495.17. Internet favorites such as
managed to rebound from
yesterday's lashing but closed below session highs.
"We came out the gate nicely, there were some real bottom-fishing-type players in there," said Charles Payne, president and chief analyst at
Wall Street Strategies
. "You're starting to see a few people get re-bullish on Internet stocks. Even someone who's a bear could say, given the swiftness they came down, there's a trading opportunity. But as you can see from the volume, big institutions are still holding back."
Payne said he executed some buy-on-close orders for more speculative clients, "hoping the
CPI number is nonthreatening to give us a sigh-of-relief rally and get some big money into the market. I still get the sense the smart money is selling into rallies instead of participating."
If the CPI figure comes in at or below expectations of a 0.2% rise, the market watcher expects a big advance.
"I'm looking for a minimum of 150
Dow points tomorrow," he said, suggesting the index could thereafter rise into the 10,800 to 10,900 range if CPI is market friendly. "I'm rolling the dice for a benign number but if it isn't, there's so much
negativity already built in the risk/reward is attractive enough to give it a shot."
In NYSE trading, just over 700 million shares were traded -- only the second 700 million session in the past nine trading days -- while advancers bested declining stocks 1,635 to 1,356. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
activity, 840.6 million shares were exchanged while losers led 2,128 to 1,789. New 52-week lows bested new highs 147 to 79 in Big Board activity and by 90 to 57 in over-the-counter trading.
No Rest for Weary Net Stocks
Gains by Net stocks came amid continued skepticism that the group has found a bottom from market watchers such as Byron Wien, U.S. investment strategist at
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
chief technical analyst Ralph Acampora included Internet stocks among "several groups where a valuation bubble needs to be broken" in a report published today.
Acampora, who listed drugs and financials in the same category, also expressed a somewhat pessimistic view of the market's near-term potential, even as many other market prognosticators see the potential for a sharp rally if tomorrow's CPI data is benign.
"We are now 23 days into the current correction and we do not believe that the market is sufficiently oversold," he said. "We believe there is too much complacency in the market. In order for the current correction to be washed out, we believe we need to see further downside volume and a higher level of fear among buyers in the market."
The alternately deified and vilified technician views near-term support at 10,350 for the Dow, 1278 for the S&P and 2340 for the Nasdaq Comp.
Cooperman Gets Pre-Emptive
received an unsolicited phone call from Leon Cooperman, senior partner at
. Cooperman, who'd apparently heard
was making inquiries about rumors the hedge fund had fired several people in its global macro strategy department, denied there is any truth to the scuttlebutt.
"Nobody has left the macro group," he said. "We're having a very good year relative to most hedge funds and have hired seven people this year. Nobody has left."
The rumors emerged
Friday, a session in which much of the market's attention focused on alleged problems with hedge funds. Since former
partner Steven Einhorn joined Omega as vice chairman and general partner about a month ago, there'd been some speculation -- erroneous, it turns out -- of a bit of house cleaning as he settled in at the firm.
The discussion Friday about a mass exodus at Omega may have been the result of a planted story by those on the Street with an "agenda," Cooperman mused, possibly someone with a short position looking to further spook an already
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 0.83 to 3351.52 after trading as high as 3375.59; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
gained 0.99, or 0.3%, to 332.10; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
gained 1.23, or 0.2%, to 763.92.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
dipped 29.80, or 0.4%, to 6865.82 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
soared 182.08, or 3.6%, to 5299.93.
Tuesday's Company Report
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.
Several semiconductor names rowed merrily along following a burst of kind words from
. Citing improving demand, analyst Joe Osha increased his estimate for 1999 global chip revenue growth to 15.5% from 12%.
picked up 7/8 to 44 7/8 after its 12-month price target was raised to 52 from 44;
climbed 9 9/16, or 9.5%, to 110 5/8 after its target was raised to 150 from 101;
added 1 1/16 to 55 5/8 after its target was raised to 66 from 54.63;
inched up 1/16 to 35 1/2 after its target was raised to 42 from 35.56;
sparked up 5/8 to 56 1/2 after its target was raised to 70 from 56;
hopped up 5 7/16 to an all-time high of 134 11/16 after its target was raised to 155 from 129.25; and
edged up 1 9/16 to an all-time high of 63 1/8 after its target was raised to 74 from 61.56.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
expanded 1 to 26 1/8 after agreeing to work with
to give motorists access to CD Radio's digital satellite radio. Ford gave up 9/16 to 52 15/16.
shot up 5 11/16, or 28.4%, to an all-time high of 25 3/4 after
agreed to acquire the company for $29.50 a share in cash, or $957 million. Energy East also will assume about $271 million of CMP preferred stock and long-term debt. Energy East added 1/16 to 26 5/16.
rocketed 3 5/16, or 35.6%, to an annual high of 12 5/8 after
Cadence Design Systems
agreed to acquire the company for $121 million, or $13 a share. Cadence advanced 1/4 to 12 15/16.
Park Place Entertainment
lowered 3/16 to 9 1/2 after
Ocean Fund International
-- a British Virgin Island mutual fund which owns the Sex.com site -- offered to buy eight Caesars hotels and resorts from the company for $3.6 billion in cash. Park Place recently bought the Caesars properties from
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
. Gambling and naked women -- not a shocking combination here, folks.
jumped 7 7/16, or 22.9%, to an all-time high of 39 15/16 after
agreed to buy the company in a deal valued at $679 million. Yankee shareholders will receive $45 a share, 45% payable in Northeast shares and 55% in cash. Northeast Utilities slid 1/16 to 17 1/4.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
grew 1 3/16 to 53 15/16 after posting first-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, beating the 16-analyst estimate of 20 cents and moving up from the year-ago 8 cents.
excelled 1/2 to 13 1/2 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, a penny above the five-analyst forecast and higher than the year-ago 9 cents.
swelled 3/8 to 12 7/8 after reporting first-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, 1 cent higher than the 11-analyst outlook but below the year-ago 43 cents.
slouched 3/8 to 47 3/4 after announcing third-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, on target with the four-analyst view and above the year-ago 20 cents.
sloughed off 7/8 to 48 11/16 after recording fourth-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share, beating the 17-analyst estimate by a penny and moving up from the year-ago 53 cents.
tanked 2 1/4, or 17.1%, to 11 after late yesterday recording first-quarter earnings of 1 cent a share, below the year-ago 7 cents.
tumbled 1 1/2, or 11.2%, to 11 15/16 after last night reporting third-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, missing the six-analyst view by 3 cents but topping the year-ago figure by 2 cents.
Salomon Smith Barney
downgraded the stock to outperform from buy.
sprouted up 3/8 to 24 3/16 after last night reporting first-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, including relocation charges. The 14-analyst estimate called for operating earnings of 32 cents vs. the year-earlier 30 cents.
advanced 2 1/4 to an all-time high of 60 3/8 after posting third-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, in line with the 21-analyst forecast and above the year-ago 20 cents.
shaved off 1/8 to 3 1/8 after posting a third-quarter loss of 6 cents a share, missing the three-analyst forecast for earnings of 3 cents but besting the year-ago loss of 8 cents.
Offerings and stock actions
flew 9/16, or 7.3%, to 8 1/4 after saying it will receive about 252 million shares of
stock by the end of 1999 as part of United Microelectronics' foundry consolidation plans. (
Wesley Jessen Visioncare
lowered 1 1/16 to 26 3/4 after its 4 million-share secondary offering priced at $25 each through underwriters led by
Deutsche Banc Alex Brown
sank 1 1/8, or 13%, to an all-time low of 7 1/2 after
lowered it to neutral from buy.
First Tennessee National
rallied 1 1/16 to 38 23/32 after
started coverage with a buy.
Nabisco Group Holdings
rose 3/16 to 21 9/16 after
started coverage of the stock by placing it on the firm's recommended list. Until yesterday, Nabisco was half of
RJR Nabisco Holdings
. The other half,
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings
, also began trading today, rising 3/16 to 32 7/16. Goldman initiated coverage of RJR with a market outperform while Merrill Lynch rated the stock an accumulate with a price target of 39.
vaulted 2 11/16 to 72 1/2 after Merrill Lynch raised it to long-term buy from accumulate while maintaining its near-term accumulate.
shot up 4 1/16, or 6.5%, to 66 11/16 after Merrill Lynch restated its buy rating, saying it expects the company to make a "series of positive fundamental and strategic announcements over the near term."
fizzed down 1 1/16 to 63 3/4. Possibly having downward influence on the stock was word the company was withdrawing all drinks produced in Belgium from Belgian, Dutch, and Luxembourg markets following a health scare. Scores of Belgian children reportedly have suffered from vomiting, nausea and dizziness after drinking Coke products.
jumped 1 3/8, or 9.7%, to 15 9/16 on last night's news the company plans to split its operations into two separate publicly traded companies -- one for inpatients and patients needing hospitalization (to be called
), and the other for the company's larger outpatient group.
plunged 9 1/8, or 20.8%, to 34 15/16 after saying the Phase 2 clinical trial of its
hemorrhagic shock drug showed the product is safe but failed to limit body damage to certain trauma victims.