The two-week swing upward continued today, as the Nasdaq Composite Index rallied solidly. Support from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, meantime, was less pronounced. The blue-chip measure was tried to break away from break-even, but with little success. Sectors that were punished yesterday rallied today.
Today's most notable turnaround was in the semiconductor sector, which had fallen sharply yesterday on the back of a revenue warning from specialty chipmaker
. Good news from
( NT), which gave strongly positive guidance for the coming years, has cooled jittery investors' heels. Intel was up 4%.
report from the
Semiconductor Industry Association
had chip manufacturers stronger. According to the group's research, global semiconductor sales are expected to rise 37% this year, to $205 billion -- the highest ever -- and could reach $319 billion by 2003. Those figures have sent the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
-- which closed down 3.8% yesterday -- up 2.6% today.
The most active stock on the
New York Stock Exchange today was
( NT), down $1.38 to $42.63 on 21.6 million shares. The Nasdaq's most active was
, which has bounced around on rumors of executives leaving the company, but there's been no news to confirm that. The stock was down $1.81 to $29.56 on 151 million shares.
Today's tech rally extended to the Net sector, where
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
, or the DOT, was up 6.4%, and to PC manufacturers, where the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
was ahead by 2.6%.
Lower-case "e" companies,
( ETYS), in addition to
, emerged as today's leaders of the Internet pack.
In economic news, Wall Street got a heads-up on productivity. The government's
productivity and unit labor costs report showed that the efficiency of U.S. workers rose 3.8% during the third quarter. That was more than the 3.1% expected, but less the second-quarter's figure. Unit labor costs also grew faster-than-expected, showing a 2.5% gain. That was well above market expectations for a 1.5% increase and the previous quarter's 0.2% decline.
High productivity can allow stronger growth to coincide with sustainable levels of inflation -- a good thing. But high unit labor costs, which measure worker compensation as adjusted for changes in productivity, can accelerate inflation -- a bad thing.
Headlining tomorrow's economic events is the October
employment report, which contains information about both job and wage growth. The report is considered the single best measure of the health of the economy.
Breadth was positive on pretty heavy volume.
New York Stock Exchange: 1,766 advancers, 1,111 decliners, 1.151 billion shares. 87 new 52-week highs, 34 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market: 2,512 advancers, 1,452 decliners, 2.147 billion shares. 81 new highs, 71 new lows.
Back to top
Most Active Stocks
NYSE Most Actives
- AT&T (T) - Get Report: 22.1 million shares.
Nortel( NT): 21.7 million shares.
Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Report: 20.8 million shares.
Nasdaq Most Actives
- WorldCom( WCOM): 151.9 million shares.
Oracle (ORCL) - Get Report: 145.4 million shares.
PsiNet (PSIX) : 89.2 million shares.
Back to top
Energy stocks have lost power in recent action, as oil prices dropped today. The
American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index
slipped 2.2%, and the
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
was falling 3.1%. The
Chicago Board Options Exchange Oil Index
was lower by 3.3%.
Cyclical stocks brought weakness to the blue-chip index this afternoon.
, down 4.2%,
, off 4.5%, and
, behind 3.1%, were all a drag on the Dow today.
Defensive stocks, such as the drug and paper industries, have fallen this afternoon. Drug giant
missed 0.7% to $89.13, and
declined 0.7% to $43.19. Paper giant and Dow component
shaved off 1.7% to $35.44.
Back to top
Bond prices were unchanged. The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was lately up 1/32 to 100 3/32, yielding 5.738%.
Back to top