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.

The

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

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

, the recently battered

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

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

McDonald's

(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

Cisco

(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

Nortel

(NT)

, and

Merrill Lynch

and

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

. (

TheStreet.com

wrote a separate story on this

catfight.)

Sector Watch

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

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

and

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

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%.

Bonds/Economy

Treasuries are narrowly mixed despite upward revisions to the

Consumer Price Index

(

definition |

chart |

source

), which were forecast

yesterday.

The

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%.