Dow Jones Industrial Average and the
Nasdaq Composite Index were lately fighting further into the green after rocketing up at the open. Some good earnings reports last night from tech and telecom bellwethers took the Dow back above the key 10,000 support level and whooshed the Nasdaq as much as 174 points higher shortly after the bell.
Some were calling yesterday -- which saw the indices slip precariously near previous lows for 2000 -- a bottom and today the beginning of the next sustained market sprint. But others continue to counsel caution. The round of good reports is helping to alleviate fears of a slowdown in corporate earnings, and investors are hoping that optimism will hold until the close of today's market.
Strong earnings from communications chip maker
, and telecom heavy-hitter
were giving some power to the beaten-down semiconductor and telecom sectors, which have lately fallen victim to worries about waning demand in chips and handsets, respectively. Broadcom -- which saw its EPS estimates raised by
-- was up 7.2%, while Nokia -- which challenged recent pessimism from its rivals over growth in the handset business -- was up 26.5%.
The king of semiconductors,
was also higher, up 9.8%. Intel's shares began rising yesterday following an upgrade from ABN Amro. Tuesday after the close, the company reported earnings above its lowered expectations for the quarter.
In fact, many of the most-actives on the Nasdaq began to climb yesterday, including
, which was helped by an upgrade this morning, and telecom
raised its rating on Sun to buy from outperform and hiked its 12-month price target. Bear Stearns increased its EPS estimates for this year and next on the company.
was also responsible for much of the market's joy this morning. The software and applications titan reported stellar earnings last night after the close. In addition,
upped their earnings-per-share estimates on the company. The company was
Dow favorite this morning, slapping some 47 points of upside on the index.
Lately trading 17.4% higher to $60.75, it was also the most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq.
Meanwhile, many of yesterday's biggest point losers on the index are today the Dow's darlings, including
, which was adding some 44 points to the index, and
, which was lately adding about 16 points to the Dow. J.P. Morgan yesterday suffered the consequences of bad earnings from its future bed buddy
Chase Manhattan Bank
. J.P. Morgan was lately up 6.5% to $143. Chase, which was blamed for much of the market's early pain, was also rebounding, up 7.1% to $39.50.
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There were very few red stains on today's screen. But investors certainly weren't doing all of their buying with pocket money -- some of the buying money was coming out of other stocks, particularly some of yesterday's winning sectors, the drug, gold and biotech shares. The
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
was 2.8% lower to 405.4, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold & Silver Index
was off 0.6% to 44.11.
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
, which has been rallying solidly for a week, was down 0.5% to 1224.7.
The semiconductors were rebounding nicely following Nokia's news, as it bodes well for chip demand, something analysts have been concerned about for months. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was lately up 11.6% to 722.6. The index has been backing and filling but trending heavily downward since early September.
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Following yesterday's erratic trading, the bond market was looking up today.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was lately up 7/32 at 100 20/32, to yield 5.667%.
Treasury bondwas up 3/32, trading at 106 31/32 and yielding 5.757%.
Federal Reserve Chairman
Alan Greenspan addressed a
conference on Monetary Policy in the New Economy this morning.
The speech had no clear implications for near-term monetary policy, but it was friendly in tone. He said the economy is experiencing a "sustained pickup in productivity growth" that should enable it to grow at a faster rate without generating inflation.
Greenspan spoke at length about the implications of the spike in oil prices, acknowledging again that high energy prices could slow growth by acting as a tax on consumers. He implied that slowing growth more likely is coming from high energy prices than from rising inflation expectations. "
The Fed will need to be on the alert for oil-driven, indeed, energy-driven, risks to our expansion," he said.
Philadelphia Fed Index
) for October fell to -3.8 after a rise of 8.2 in September. The index was much weaker than expected and clearly suggests slowing economic performance.
The bond market continues to take its tone from the equities markets. A decline in stock markets typically leads to a rally in bonds and vice versa.
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