At the close, this week, which was nasty, ended on a positive note. The major indices have been impressive, extending gains, with the brokerages, banks and semiconductors leading the surge.
Nasdaq Composite Index closing at these levels, it was one of the largest point increases and percentage gains in the index in history, ending a streak of six straight declines for the index. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average also rallied sharply on the back of gains in the technology components and the cyclical names.
One of the market's leaders today was PC maker
; the stock is rising 20.3% to $52.50 after reporting strong third-quarter results, soothing a market that had gone wild on the computer and semiconductor sector due to reports of slowing demand for computers.
all previously warned of earnings shortfalls, but Gateway seems to be doing fine. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
was also higher, moving up 9.2%.
Through the preannouncement season, analysts had tried to assuage investor fears, saying that the spate of preannouncements was natural, because companies tend to frontload that news prior to earnings season. Several strategists this morning expressed that current levels were a buying opportunity, including
Other earnings winners were leading the way up. Storage software company
was up 11% to $135 after last night's strong earnings release, and
bounded 10.2% to $220.06.
Retailers are improving, bolstered by the rebound in
, which tanked yesterday after warning. Department stores like
are moving up sharply. Penney is moving up solidly in particular, rising 17.6% to $10.44, and the
S&P Retail Index
is gaining 2.1%.
Oil and gas indices are hurting today, after Saudi Arabian officials said they do not intend to undertake any kind of oil embargo as a result of the Middle Eastern conflict and the potential opposing roles the U.S. and Saudi Arabia might play. (The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have a reasonably strong relationship, politically.) Lately, November crude oil futures were traded at $35.30, down from $36.09 yesterday. The
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
traded down 3.7% while the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
The financials are finally gaining ground after several poor sessions.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
was lately up 10.1% to $77.94; the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
rose 6.2% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange KBW/Bank Index
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Bond prices remained lower following this morning's hotter-than-expected reports on both consumer spending and wholesale prices.
Retail sales increased 0.9% in September, the largest gain since February, and 0.7% excluding autos. Economists polled by
had forecast gains of 0.6% overall and 0.5% excluding autos. The data suggest that consumer spending, the primary driver of economic growth, continues to run at a very strong pace.
Producer Price Index also rose 0.9% in September, the largest gain since February. Oil prices, which rose 3.7%, were largely responsible. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, gained 0.3%. But that gain too was larger than expected. On average, economists had forecast the PPI to rise 0.5% overall and 0.1% excluding food and energy. The report fans fears that rising oil prices are leading to a faster rate of inflation overall.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note lately was unchanged at 100 3/32, lifting its yield to 5.728%
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