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Market Bounces Back From Lows as Quarter Winds Down

Some on the Street are seeing late-minute window-dressing. Meanwhile, the stronger yen is having little effect.
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On Wall Street, the sales were over and stock prices were back up thanks to a little end-of-the-quarter window-dressing by portfolio managers and the fading fears that the


will up rates on Tuesday.

The higher-than-expected prices-paid component of the

Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index

sparked an early-morning selloff before the market bounced back, said Jim Herrick, managing director of trading at

Robert W. Baird

in Milwaukee. Herrick said he thought window-dressing was behind the bounce.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 70, or 0.7%, to 10,283, guided by






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The tech-laden

Nasdaq Composite Index

continued to gain ground from Wednesday's 2694.70 low, mounting 8 to 2739. "I think that we're struggling in attempt to establish a new trading range," said David Resler, chief economist at

Nomura Securities

. Resler thought the change in today's trading sentiment might be linked to the prevailing investor negativism that has plagued the market recently. "People are saying, maybe we've overdone it a bit," he said.

The ADRs of India-based software firm

Infosys Technologies


were bustling on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

after a


poll said that net profits for the company are expected to leap 84.1%, while

Flycast Communications


was also in solid green territory after it announced that it would be acquired by




With the U.S. markets newly found positivity, the usual signs of a


get-together were no where to be found. "The Fed's openmouthed policy has signaled subsequent moves in its open market policy," said Resler. "If the Fed did raise rates, it would produce a significant negative reaction in the financial markets because

the Fed has failed to hint that they're inclined to tighten again," Resler added.

The dollar was quoted midday at 106.75 yen, regaining some momentum from this morning. But today's strong yen hasn't knocked the U.S. markets lower, for a change. "Today's movement in the U.S. market seems to have broken a pattern of tracking the inverse way changes in the yen's performance," Resler said. "Today, the yen is strong and the Dow and other indices are up."

Other stock proxies were also in green territory with the broad

S&P 500

up 9 to 1277, while the small-cap

Russell 2000

bounced 1 to 423. Internet Sector

index was up 2 to 645, with

America Online


, down 2 to 109 1/4, and


, off 1 5/8 to 79 1/4, taking some steam out of the index. On a positive note,



was up 9 5/8, or 7.9%, to 131 1/2 after it declared a 3-for-1 stock split.


New York Stock Exchange




, up 3 15/16, or 7.9%, to 53 5/8, didn't need any CPR after

Merrill Lynch

analyst Dan Lemaitre added the stock to its Focus One list.

In other Big Board news, advancers were leveling decliners 1,585 to 1,257 on 516 million shares, while on the Nasdaq laggards were edging out leaders, 1,861 to 1,847 on 617 million shares. New 52-week lows were pummeling new 52-week highs 137 to 39 on the NYSE, while on the Nasdaq new lows were beating new highs 132 to 57.

On the bond front, the benchmark 30-year Treasury was up 20/32 to 100 21/32, its yield declining to 6.08%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early

Bond Focus.)

Thursday's Midday Watchlist

By Eileen Kinsella
Staff Reporter


Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.


CMGI rose 2 7/8 to 103 3/16 after saying it will buy online advertising agency Flycast Communications in a stock swap worth about $559 million. Shares of Flycast hopped 8 5/16, or 21%, to 46 1/4, after hitting a record high of 52.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures



rose 1/8 to 19 3/8 after it agreed to sell its interest in three Philadelphia area nuclear power plants to

Peco Energy


, lately up 9/16 to 36 3/4, and

Public Service Enterprise Group


which edged up 5/16 to 38 1/16.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton


rose 1/4 to 59.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that LVMH and


are toiling together on a cooperative bid for control of


, the Rome-based designer.



added 3/16 to 20 9/16 after saying it will buy $100 million of stock in



. The investment represents 6% of Whittman-Hart's outstanding capitalization. Shares of Whittman tacked on 1 to 36 15/16.

Wells Fargo


gained 5/16 to 38 7/8 after its said its buying

North County Bancorp


, lately up 1/8 to 19 5/8. Under terms of the deal, North County shareholders will receive about $21 of Wells Fargo stock for each North County share they own. North County closed yesterday at 19 1/2.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews



fell 2 15/16, or 12.2%, to 21 1/8 after saying it expects third-quarter revenue to be at least twice that of the year-ago period, but expects losses to more than triple those of the comparable quarter.

Helen of Troy


inched up 3/16 to 9 5/8 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, a penny better than both the three-analyst estimate and the year-ago figure. The company also authorized the repurchase of up to 3 million common shares. Still, the company said lower second-quarter sales forced of its beauty-care products forced it to adjust its year sales growth estimate down to between 5% and 10%.



rose 17/32, or 7.4%, to 7 11/16 after saying it will take a third-quarter net charge of $14 million for litigation-related fees.

Marriott International


gained 5/16 to 32 7/8 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, in line with the 15-analyst estimate and up from 32 cents a year ago. The company also approved the repurchase of an additional 10 million common shares.



fell 1 1/8, or 15.9%, to 5 15/16 after saying it expects third- and fourth-quarter earnings to miss analyst estimates by as much as 38 to 40 cents a share and also said it will take a $50 million charge to liquidate some of its inventory. The company also said it will reduce the number of superstores it plans to open next year and will up the amount it invests in its e-commerce business.



fell 13/16 after saying it will re-evaluate its Russian investment and may take a fourth-quarter writedown after

Leap Wireless


withdrew its support. Qualcomm said it still expects to meet or beat analyst estimates of 88 cents a share. Shares of Leap slipped 5/8 to 23 3/16.

Ruby Tuesday


added 5/8 to 19 5/8 after reporting first-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, above the eight-analyst estimate of 28 cents and up from 23 cents a year ago.



dropped 5 1/2, or 13%, to 36 13/16 despite reporting third-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share, in line with the 15-analyst estimate and up from 38 cents a year ago.

U.S. Xpress Enterprises


shed 3 1/9, or 35.2%, to 5 3/4 after saying it expects third-quarter earnings to fall to 12 cents to 14 cents a share, well below the current seven-analyst estimate of 36 cents.

Wolverine World Wide


slipped 3/16 to 11 1/8 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, a penny shy of the six-analyst estimate of 29 cents and better than the year-ago 25 cents.

Offerings and stock actions



added 5/8, or 5.2%, to 12 9/16 after saying it will spin off its automotive rental business from its automotive retail business in the form of a tax-free dividend of shares of the new rental concern to its shareholders.

BroadVision jumped 8 5/8, or 7.1%, to 130 3/4 after it set a 3-for-1 stock split.



added 1/4 to 210 1/4 after it called a special meeting of holders as it seeks a 2-for-1 stock split.



added 1/8 to 17 1/2 after saying it plans to create a new tracking stock for its real estate portal

, and anticipates an IPO of the portal in the second quarter. Sarah Nolan was named CEO of



was up 15 3/16, or 94.9%, to 31 3/16 in its trading debut.

Credit Suisse First Boston

priced the 5.5 million-share IPO above-range at $16 a share.


raised the expected share price of its IPO to $14 to $16 a share from $10 to $12 a share. The company sells software products and services for high-speed data exchange.

Analyst actions

Schroders Securities

started coverage of five pharmaceutical companies.

Eli Lilly


added 15/16 to 64 3/16 and



added 3/8 to 64 11/16 after they received outperform ratings.

Bristol-Myers Squibb


gained 1 5/16 to 66 13/16 ,



added 7/8 to 35 and



gained 2 1/4 to 65 after being added to the recommended list at outperform significantly.

Allegiance Telecom


gained 1 to 54 3/4 after

Warburg Dillon Read

raised it to strong buy from buy.



added 23/32, or 11.5%, to 7 after Warburg Dillon Read raised it to buy from hold.



fell 1/8 to 46 9/16 after

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

cut its rating to buy from top pick.

Guidant gained 3 9/16, or 7.2%, to 53 1/4 after

Merrill Lynch

added the stock to its Focus One list as a top medical-tech pick.



rose 1 1/16 to 29 1/16 after


raised its rating to attractive from neutral.

Infinity Broadcasting


gained 1 3/8, or 5.1%, to 28 5/8after DLJ raised its rating to top pick from buy.



fell 3 to 120 3/8 after

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

started coverage with an outperform rating.

Jacobs Engineering


added 3/8 to 32 13/16 after

Goldman Sachs

started coverage by adding the stock to its recommended list.



was unchanged at 36 3/8 after


started coverage with a long-term buy rating.

Washington Mutual


added 3/4 to 29 after PaineWebber started coverage with a buy rating.




added 3 13/16 to 142 13/16 after news that it will join the

Nasdaq 100

effective Oct.6, replacing



, which

Johnson & Johnson


is acquiring.

wrote about the news


Cyberian Outpost


rose 3/16 to 9 after it named Robert Bowman president and CEO, effective immediately.

Only eight months after paying $1.5 billion for it, drugstore chain

Rite Aid


is pondering the sale of part of its

PCS Health Systems

unit, the


reported. Rite Aid rose 11/16, or 5.1%, to 14 1/16.