Market Modestly Higher as Eyes Turn to Intel Earnings Release

The Internet sector continues to rally.
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Wall Street's rally yesterday, in the face of

Compaq's

(CPQ)

announcement that its earnings would fall short of expectations, has lent strength to the market today, but there's still enough fear out there that the Street isn't ready to run stocks much higher. Tonight will go a long way toward determining whether those fears are well founded or baseless:

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

announces its first-quarter earnings after the close.

The big chipmaker is seen as a sort of nexus for tech stocks -- you know how it's doing and you know how the PC makers are doing and you know how component makers are doing and so on. If Compaq's problems really are Compaq specific, than that should be reflected in Intel's numbers and what it says about them in its conference call. The company is expected to earn a split-adjusted 55 cents a share, according to

First Call

.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was lately up 51 to 10,391, while the broader big-cap average, the

S&P 500

was up a more muted 1 to 1359.

"The broader market is not having quite as good a day today, but after the run they've had, it's not surprising they've had a bit of a break," said Jim Benning, a trader at

BT Brokerage

. Still, Benning sees little potential downside. "Every time they sell off a little bit it draws in buyers. I'd be surprised to see the market sell off to any significant degree here."

The

Nasdaq Composite

was up 29 to 2628 and the small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 7 to 420. Internet stocks were again on a tear;

TheStreet.com Internet Sector Index

was up 28, or 4%, to 818.

9:59 a.m.: Rally in Tech Issues Boosts Stocks

Technology stocks were surging early on after sitting out

yesterday's rally for the most part, as Internet stocks were flying again.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 32 to 10,372. The

S&P 500

was up 3 to 1361. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 25 to 2624. The

Russell 2000

was up 5 to 418.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 26 to 817.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 8 to 144.

A host of earnings results were released this morning, as companies on balance reported in-line or better-than-expected numbers.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 3/32 to 96 31/32, yielding 5.46%.

A couple of key economic reports were released this morning. The Labor Department reported the overall

Consumer Price Index

rose 0.2% in March, while excluding food and energy prices, it rose 0.1%, less than expected by the

Reuters

consensus forecast of economists.

Meanwhile, the

Commerce Department

reported

retail sales

in March rose 0.2%, while excluding autos, sales rose 0.5%.

On the heels of strong earnings reports from

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

and

PaineWebber

(PWJ)

boosted the brokerage sector. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

was up 8%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

National Discount Brokers (NDB) , up 7 5/16 to 62 5/8

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Net.B@nk (NTBK) , up 26 1/2 to 185

: The company set a 3-for-1 stock split.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

General Electric (GE) - Get Report, down 2 1/2 to 114

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

SkyMall (SKYM) , down 6 3/8 to 16 3/4

: The company yesterday said it expects to post revenues of $13 million in the first quarter, down from the $13.2 million in the year-ago period and it expects to post a loss of between $1.00 to $1.20 a share in 1999.

--

Brian Louis