The rising tide is lifting all boats today, as traders have finally broken through after five days of morose action. Heading into the final turn in the trading session, all major U.S. equity indices are higher on strength in technology, drugs and consumer products stocks.


Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up sharply, boosted by a strong performance in

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

, which was rising after the company said it expects to meet earnings estimates for the first half of 2001. Also strong were



, the recently battered


(INTC) - Get Report


J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report


The five-day malaise is the result of ongoing concerns about earnings strength. Many high-profile companies have voiced their troubles during this earnings season, among them Intel and


(MCD) - Get Report

; they've pointed to currency-related problems, higher fuel costs and slowing demand in significant markets. These concerns won't go away with the autumn wind when earnings reports come in, although the market may see some relief from this terrible September.

Through yesterday, the Nasdaq lost 14% of its value in September, while the Dow dropped 5%; both indices appear to have hit support at the bottom of the recent trading range, defined as around 3,600 on the Comp and 10,600 on the Dow.

There's been a lot of action in


(CSCO) - Get Report

today, as analysts tussle over the possibility of slowed capital spending and revenues.

Sanford Bernstein

fired the first shot today, downgrading the company along with fellow network name



, and

Merrill Lynch


Salomon Smith Barney

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stepped in to defend the stocks. Cisco is struggling to rise with the rest of the market, up just 1.2% to $57.94 on 40.5 million shares, making it easily the most active on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

. (

wrote a separate story on this


Sector Watch

Despite the action taken on Cisco, technology and telecom equipment companies are holding up well today. Fiber-optics names like


(GLW) - Get Report


JDS Uniphase


are strengthening as the day goes on.

Drug stocks are better after

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

announced in its first analyst meeting in three years that it plans to sell off its makeup and medical-limb-replacement products divisions to concentrate on pharmaceuticals. Bristol-Myers rose 4.5%, while the

American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

gained 2.9%.


Treasuries are narrowly mixed despite upward revisions to the

Consumer Price Index


definition |

chart |


), which were forecast



Bureau of Labor Statistics

this morning announced that in each month from January to August, the CPI was 0.1 higher than originally reported, except in May and July, when it was higher by 0.2. From January to August, prices rose 3.5%, revised from 3.4%, and the core prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose 2.7%, revised from 2.6%, the BLS said.

The BLS revised the CPI after discovering that a software error had resulted in miscalculations.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note lately was unchanged at 99 14/32, yielding 5.825%.