Dow Jones Industrial Average -- up 165.32 to 10,946.77 as a broad collection of blue-chips rallied. The
Nasdaq Composite Index -- up 18.8 to 2489.7 on the strength of biotechnology and a bounce in chipmakers.
Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan -- up tomorrow, when he delivers the
Humphrey-Hawkins testimony to the
Senate Banking Committee
In this twice-yearly speech, Big Al talks shop with elected officials and could make some waves, especially during the question-and-answer session. Last year, Greenspan helped the Comp drive to a record single-day point gain and record close after saying there was a correlation between rising productivity and skyrocketing stock prices. A Q&A could require Greenspan to discuss why the Fed made deep cuts to the federal funds rate in January and what's in store going forward.
Meanwhile, today, the Dow rebounded from last week's selloff, adding more and more gains as the afternoon wore on. A late-day surge in
helped the Dow to "stick the landing." You know, just like the gymnasts do.
This is the second Monday in a row that the Dow has posted a triple-digit gain. A broad collection of blue-chips rallied, led by upside swings in
Johnson & Johnson
. Twenty-five of the industrials were in the green.
Wal-Mart gained $3.05 to $53.45, taking part in a speculative retail rally. Many people are keeping a close eye on this sector to determine how consumer confidence levels are doing. It's the canary in a coal mine of sorts. With retail sales data emerging tomorrow, and a slate of earnings from many retail names to come on Thursday -- chased by Wal-Mart's release on Feb. 20 -- traders were making bets, hoping to sell into the news.
S&P Retail Index
Meanwhile, the Comp gained largely on the back of a biotechnology rally, but drew critical support late in the afternoon when large-cap tech, disk drive peripherals and semiconductors made an upswing.
After sending biotech lower in the final three sessions last week, traders returned to the turrets and were gunning for a rally in the sector. The
American Stock Exchange Biotechnology Index
rose 4.4%, a strong performance that stands in sharp contrast to recent action. In the last ten sessions, the BTK, as the biotech index is known, has only improved in two sessions, today and on Feb. 6.
was the catalyst for the move, having announced that its research showed that there are fewer than 30,000 genes in the human body. The company also said that all humans are nearly identical when it comes to genetics, with only 800 letters in the more than million that make up the mapped human genome showing differentiation. (The company did not speculate on how Michael Jackson ended up so odd.)
Celera gained $6.15, or 14.8%, to $47.75 on the move. But the rest of the biotechs also rallied on the news, perhaps because of their battered condition, but maybe because these new findings will make it easier to find new genetic-based cures for conditions. Prior to Celera's findings, estimates for the number of genes in the human genome ran as high as 140,000. Those companies looking to isolate a genetic needle can do so in a smaller haystack.
Your big winners:
, a biotech drugmaker, up 4.5% to $38.75.
, which makes equipment used to measure the development of drugs, gained 2.4% to $74.25.
, which sequences genes in order to isolate possible candidates for treatment, gained 8.6% to $72.12.
Everything else in tech was pretty mixed. A bleak-sounding report from networking equipment maker
threw more blood in the waters, keeping would-be swimmers out of the deep end. This morning, the company, which competes with
Computer Network Technology
, said that third-quarter earnings would suffer if companies keep deferring orders. Fiber channel products, those gizmos and gadgets that provide higher performance connections over networks, was the key area affected by deferrals.
So, Emulex dropped 48.3%. And unlike the last time it fell, back when a fake press release took the company down more-then 50%, today's news was painfully true. Rival QLogic lost 21.2%, while both Computer Network and H-P were lower.
Couple the Emulex warning with a cautious outlook from
and you've got the recipe for crumbling stock prices. The PC maker warned that the first half of 2001 would be a rough time for growth, pretty much saying what most industry watchers expect -- a difficult first two quarters. In an interview with German magazine
, Michael Capellas, Compaq's CEO, said that first-quarter sales growth would be nonexistent, picking up in later quarters. During 2000, Compaq had a 10% growth rate.
And so, Compaq dropped 2.2%, but the damage was isolated. Other large-cap tech companies ended stronger.
each dropped to new 52-week lows as tech continued to feel the heat. But, the pressure abated and both pulled out of the nosedive. Cisco, scraping $27.81 earlier, closed up 5.8% to $29.56. Sun, hitting a low of $23.56, finished up 3.6% to $25.50.
Chipmakers also firmed up, with
all gaining more-than 3%.
Market Internals and Most Active Stocks
Winners beat losers! Winners beat losers! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!
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Like a burning building, Emulex attracted a bunch of attention today (though by the close it had fallen to No. 4 in the most-actives list). Must've been all that smoke and screaming coming from its stock price. Emulex got creamed on a warning about the third-quarter, dropping 48.3%.
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planned $5.2 billion purchase of
, a French-British information technology firm, has really done a job on the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
. The OSX, as the index is known, was off 2.8%, due primarily to Schlumberger's weakness. The oil services giant fell 11.8%% after announcing that the Sema purchase would impact earnings.
Financials were broadly higher, with insurers taking home most of the goodwill, with banks and brokerages splitting the rest of the love. The
S&P Insurance Index
gained 2.6%, while the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
American Stock Exchange Securities Broker/Dealer Index
were up about 1.5% and 1 .7%, respectively.
HMOs continued to be red hot, as were other medical-related stocks. The
Morgan Stanley/American Stock Exchange HMO Index
gained 6.2%, a 52-week high, while the
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
S&P Health Care Index
also tracked higher.
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Treasury prices closed down, with the long bond dipping most. As is often the case, bonds moved inversely to equities today. Meanwhile, traders are awaiting
Federal Reserve chairman
Alan Greenspan's address before the
Senate Banking Committee
tomorrow. They hope that the central bank chief will reiterate the need for more interest rate cuts to boost the economy.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note closed down 4/32 to 99 19/32, raising its yield to 5.05%.
Cathy Minehan, President of the
Boston Federal Reserve Bank
and a voting member of the Fed's monetary policy committee, said today that the Fed's 100 basis-point lowering of interest rates in January is already producing encouraging results. She predicted that
gross domestic product
) growth this year should be around 2%. Echoing recent statements by Greenspan, Minehan asserted that inflation was "well behaved." This was good news to Fed watchers, since figures released last week showed unit labor costs were on the rise, usually perceived as inflationary.
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Stocks in Europe had a strong finish. Strength in telecom and software stocks gave a lift to London's
. After three days of losses, the index was up 77 to 6241. In Paris, the
was 47 higher to 5760 and the German
rose 67.8 to 6564.9.
The euro was lately falling against the dollar, trading at $0.9392.
Tokyo markets were closed overnight for National Foundation Day, a national holiday, while Hong Kong's
had a pretty rough time of it. The benchmark index fell 180.17, or 1.14%, to 15,693.11.
The dollar was trading at 114.92 yen.
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