And they're off. On the heels of Friday's stock market gains, the bulls are back on stampede this morning. In recent trading, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average was soaring more than 150 points, and the
Nasdaq Composite Index was forging ahead by some 30 points. So are we out of the woods yet?
Wall Street bears say no. They argue that last Thursday's 300-point downdraft on the Dow, which was followed by a late-day snapback and a subsequent rally on Friday, didn't mark a bottom, because there was no catalyst for the gains. According to the grizzlies, the corporate earnings outlook is still hazy, and the economic picture hasn't shown any clear signs of improvement.
But market bulls point out that the end-of-the-week comeback was led by significant institutional buying and that piles of cash remain on the sidelines. They think nuggets of good news may be right around the corner, namely comments from
Federal Reserve Chairman
Alan Greenspan, passage of Bush's tax-cut proposal, or visibility from bellwether companies, which could set a fire under the stock market.
Most sectors of the market were trading higher this morning: PC maker, drug, Internet, networking, cyclical and financial stocks were all up. But, noticeably, semiconductor stocks were moving down. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
, which shrugged off bad news last week to take the Nasdaq higher for the first time in two months, was recently lower by 1.3%.
Earlier today, chipmaker
said first-quarter revenue and earnings would fall short of targets. It also announced plans to cut 230 jobs. Shares of PMC fell 6.4% to $31.77.
, which had traded in the green on Friday, were lately stuck in the red.
In other technology news,
2001 and 2002 earnings estimates were lowered by
this morning. In recent action, the networking stock was off 0.1% to $17.40, but the
American Stock Exchange Networking Index
, which tracks the telecom industry, was higher by 1.6% to 480.96.
Retail drugstore chain
was down 3.4% to $39.40 after reporting earnings that were in line with estimates. And pharmaceutical giant
Johnson & Johnson
was off 3.3% to $85.35 after it was reported the pharmaceutical company is in talks to acquire drugmaker
, up 23.1% to $36.99, in a
$12 billion stock deal.
Benefiting stocks this morning was
global strategist Joseph Rooney raising his weighting in global equities by 10% to 70%, reducing cash from 5% to zero and cutting debt 5% to 30%.