And, they're off. On the heels of Friday's stock market gains, the bulls are back on the stampede this morning. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average was advancing almost 100 points, while the
Nasdaq Composite Index forged into positive territory. 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, 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.
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
Alan Greenspan, passage of Bush's tax-cut proposal, or visibility from bellwether companies, which could set a fire under the stock market.
Virtually every sector of the market was trading higher this morning: PC manufacturers, drug, Internet, networking, cyclical, and financial stocks were all up. But noticeably, semiconductor stocks were trading lower. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
, which was able to shrug off bad news last week and lead the Nasdaq higher, was recently down 2.2%.
Earlier today, chipmaker
said first quarter revenue and earnings would fall short of targets. It also announced plans to cut 230 jobs. The company was off 6.9% to $31.60.
was shaking off its bad news, however, after
lowered targets for the networker's 2001 and 2002 earnings estimates.
Retail drugstore chain
was down 2.9% to $39.58 after it reported earnings that were in line with estimates. And pharmaceutical giant
Johnson & Johnson
was off 2.2% to $86.30 after it was reported the pharmaceutical company is in talks to acquire drug maker and biotech researcher
$12 billion stock deal. Alza jumped 24% to $37.30.
Benefiting stocks this morning was
global strategist Joseph Rooney, who raised his weighting in global equities by 10% to 70%, reducing cash from 5% to zero and cutting debt 5% to 30%.