SAN FRANCISCO -- For a change, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
badly lagged blue-chip averages today, which rallied smartly behind financials and transports. Yet the Comp claimed what seems to be its birthright -- another all-time high -- in what may have been the most impressive performance of its recent record-spotted run.
After trading as low as 3124.77 midmorning in the wake of
, the tech-encrusted index improved smartly for the rest of the session, closing up 23.86, or 0.7%, to 3221.15. The close is the average's 10th record in the past 11 sessions.
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Intel climbed off its intraday low of 74 1/2 but still closed down 4% to 76 3/16, leading the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
also weighed on the Comp, falling 4% after posting in-line profits
But those losses were offset by rising bellwethers such as
rose 1.4% to a record 2888.68. Meanwhile,
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index established a new high of its own, up 24.77, or 3%, to 845.68.
rocketed 19.7% on what's becoming a sure way to spur an explosive rally in a tech stock -- an announcement of an announcement. DoubleClick,
and two other companies plan to unveil Monday a Web solution for personalized marketing.
In addition, tech gauges were paced by the continued stellar performance of secondary names such as
, up 9.4%;
, higher by 9.7%;
Metromedia Fiber Network
, up 11.4%; and
, which rose 7.8%.
"Intel downgrade be damned. That's what happening today," said Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at
. "Look at the advance/decline and you'd think the market was flat, but there continues to be very strong, extremely powerful demand to buy and trade these
tech stocks. Yes, tech is mixed, but it's all turning green except for some chip stocks."
Qualcomm, for example, added $5.2 billion in market cap today "on no news," the strategist noted. "There's a frenzy going on."
Red Hots index leapt 11.30, or 3.8%, to 309.44. The 20-stock index tracks action in particularly volatile stocks and is meant to measure so-called hot money.
The hot money also continued to chase IPOs, as evinced by
, which rose 357% from its offering price of $19.
Intel, the biggest chipmaker of all, was the biggest drag on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, but the index jumped 173.71, or 1.6%, to 10,769.01. The most public face of equities was paced by blockbuster gains in
, up 5.8%, and
, higher by 4.9%.
Financials rallied overall thanks to more inflation-friendly economic data, specifically, the third-quarter productivity figures. Productivity's rise of 4.2% vs. a gain of 0.6% for unit labor costs, fueling speculation the
will not raise interest rates next week or that anything tightening will certainly be its last for the foreseeable future. That sense helped the price of the 30-year Treasury bond rise 23/32 to 101 8/32, its yield declining to 6.03%.
Financials also got a boost from
signing (with oh so many pens!) the
reform bill, which removed restrictions barring brokers, banks and insurers from entering one another's businesses.
, often rumored as a takeover target, gained 10.2%, while
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
rose 7.1%. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
rose 4.6% while the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
As with the Dow, the bounding banking stocks aided the
, which rose 14.60, or 1.1%, to 1396.06. The S&P also got a lift from airline stocks, retailers and select cyclical names.
gained 2.20, or 0.5%, to 449.69, its 12th rise in the past 13 sessions.
Too Good to Be True?
"In this particular market, this particular session, there's definitely an urgency of 'I gotta get mine,'" said Doug Myers, vice president of equity trading at
in Atlanta. "There was no one pinching their noses and buying. People were just paying the plus ticks."
Asked if a sense the Fed will not raise rates next week was a factor, the trader replied affirmatively but said it was not an overriding one.
"I think that's part of it, but no one is doing anything because of the Fed," Myers said. "There's just nothing on their sheets, nothing they've seen, read, heard or smelled that has any dark cloud, so they figure, 'I better hurry up and get out and get something.'"
But this kind of action cannot last, the trader said.
"This is a little too much, too soon," he continued. "When it moves too much, too quick it sets itself up for an ugly pullback. I like nice, steady sustainable increases. This geometric growth cannot be sustained."
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 900.2 million shares were exchanged while advancers led declining stocks 1,656 to 1,322. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
action 1.397 billion shares traded -- the fourth-busiest day in Nasdaq history -- while gainers led 2,150 to 1,875. New 52-week lows outpaced new highs 113 to 69 on the Big Board while new highs led 188 to 79 in over-the-counter trading.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 77.58, or 2.6%, to 3089.57; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
added 0.96, or 0.3%, to 300.31; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
added 3.84, or 0.5%, to 823.07.
For the week, the Dow added 0.6%, the S&P added 1.9%, the Nasdaq jumped 3.8%, the Russell rose 1.6%, the DOT gained 3.8%, the Dow transports rose 2.8%, the Dow utilities fell 0.1% and the Amex Composite climbed 2%.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
rose 37.74, or 0.5%, to 7526.2 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
slid 51.54, or 0.9%, to 6034.76. For the week, the TSE was up 3.1%, while the IPC gained 1.9%.
Friday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.
Shares of Finisar flew up more than 350% on the first day of trading. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-company, which makes fiber-optic subsystems and network performance test systems was priced at $19 a share by Merrill Lynch last night. Finisar finished up 67 13/16, or 356.9%, to 86 7/8, far outshining other new issues for the day. (See the table below for more IPO results.)
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
climbed 5/8 to 30 9/16 after saying it offered to buy
for $17 a share, or $261 million. Howmet said an independent committee of board members will review the proposal. Shares of Howmet jumped 3 11/16, or 26.2%, to 17 3/4.
IBM gained 1/2 to 95 1/2 and Oracle rose 3 1/16 to 65 1/8 after the companies said they would unite in a project headed by IBM to standardize the Unix operating system. In a joint statement, the companies said they would collaborate on standardizing IBM's edition of Unix through Monterey/64, a project supported by IBM,
Santa Cruz Operation
and Intel. Shares of Santa Cruz inched up 3/16 to 11 3/4.
Separately, IBM and DoubleClick said they will make a major joint announcement on Monday.
and privately held
are in on the deal as well. Shares of DoubleClick soared 27 7/16, or 19.7%, to 167 1/16, while Net Perceptions surged 5 5/16, or 18.8%, to an all-time high of 33 7/8.
lost 13/16 to 19 after
The Wall Street Journal
reported it is contemplating the sale or closing of some of its core satellite and military-aircraft operations as it tries to recover its declining financial performance, according to senior executives familiar with the situation. According to the
, Lockheed's CFO said the company is "not restricting in any way" its evaluation of actions and stressed that no conclusions have been made.
rose 2 3/16, or 5.8%, to 40 and
lost 1 1/4 to 101 13/16 after saying Red Hat plans to license RSA technology for use in one of the Linux software packages.
Tripoint Global Communications
announced its plans to buy
, for roughly $118.7 million. The transaction calls for TriPoint to tender for all Vertex shares at $22 a share, beginning Nov. 18. Shares of Vertex jumped 6 1/4, or 42.3%, to 21 1/16.
lost 4, or 8.2%, to 47 9/16 after it said it continues to review a wide range of options in a consolidating global wireless market but said it has set no definite plans. Vodafone is expected to launch a takeover bid for Mannesmann, a company Vodafone values at $217.60 a share.
joint newsroom wrote about it in a separate
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
slipped 7/16 to 15 1/2 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 63 cents a share.
Dell fell 1 3/4 to 41 3/4 after it reported third-quarter earnings after yesterday's close of 18 cents a share, meeting its revised outlook, which was scaled down due to a computer components shortage. The report was in line with the 27-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 14 cents. CEO Michael Dell told
that he sees a "healthy" fourth quarter and Y2K concerns easing, with "a group of customers buying at a more intense level, strong enough that they offset any Y2K effect."
joint newsroom covered Dell's report in a
story last night.
raised its rating on Dell to an outperform from a hold and
Credit Suisse First Boston
reiterated its strong buy rating, while
cut its fiscal 2001 estimate on the boxmaker to $1 from $1.05 a share and said Dell officials sent a mixed message with a cautious revenue outlook.
dropped 5 7/16, or 12.8%, to 37 1/16 after it posted a third-quarter loss of 24 cents a share, wider than the five-analyst estimate of a 20-cent loss but narrower than the year-ago 26-cent loss. For more on Healtheon, check out
fell 9/16 to 9 5/8 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, including a charge of 4 cents. The two-analyst estimate called for earnings of 24 cents a share while year-ago earnings were 8 cents a share. Neff said it agreed to sell its construction equipment dealer
, a new venture between
Credit Suisse First Boston
, for about $91 million.
fell 5/8 to 43 3/8 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share, beating the 14-analyst estimate of 12 cents and the year-ago 6-cent profit.
Offerings and stock actions
lost 1/4 to 51 15/16 after it set a $40 million repurchasing program for its Class-B stock.
gained 1 3/8, or 6.6%, to 21 3/4 after it announced plans to resume repurchasing stock. The company said about 15 million shares remain from its current 30 million-share buyback set in 1996.
inched up 1/8 to 22 1/2 after saying it set a 2.1 million-share repurchasing program.
upped its expected price range for its 4 million-share IPO to $15 to $17 a share from $12 to $14 a share.
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
is serving as the deal's lead underwriter.
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette upped its rating on
Air Products & Chemicals
to a top pick from a market perform. Shares jumped 3 5/16, or 11.9%, to 31 1/8.
upped its price target on
and reiterated its market outperformer rating. Separately, the
Communication Workers' Union
said that BT customer-service workers have voted to hold a one-day strike on Nov. 22 to protest "oppressive" working conditions. ADRs of BT fell 2 3/4 to 199 9/16.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
sliced its rating on
to neutral from outperform. CKE was unchanged at 10 7/16.
Warburg Dillon Read
initiated coverage of
with a hold rating. Shares slipped 3/16 to 27 5/16.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
cut its rating on
Consolidated Natural Gas
to market perform from strong buy. Shares fell 1/16 to 64 9/16.
Merrill Lynch started coverage of
with intermediate- and long-term accumulate ratings. Covance climbed 1/16 to 11 1/4.
Merrill Lynch upgraded its long-term opinion on
to a buy from an accumulate. General Dynamics fell 1/2 to 51 1/16 despite the news.
Merrill Lynch raised its long-term rating on
to buy from accumulate. General Mills lost 3/16 to 40 7/8.
Merrill Lynch sliced its near-term rating on Intel to accumulate from buy, citing worries over the disruption in its plans to roll out a memory product linked to
and competitive pressure from
Advanced Micro Devices
. Merrill Lynch analyst Joe Osha also cut his fiscal 2000 earnings estimate to $2.55 from $2.69 and price target to 90 from 100. Separately,
Paine Webber reiterated its buy rating on Intel and its price target of 95. Shares of Intel fell 3 3/16 to 76 3/16.
joint newsroom wrote about Merrill's
moves earlier today.
DLJ sliced it rating on
to market perform from buy. McDermott shed 4 15/16, or 36.4%, to 8 5/8.
DLJ downgraded shares of
to market perform from buy. Praxair lost 1 5/16 to 46.
Bear Stearns downgraded
to a neutral from attractive. Speedway slowed down 4 1/4, or 13.3%, to 27 13/16.
Banc of America Securities
rolled out coverage of
with a buy rating. Visx jumped 5 5/16, or 7.8%, to 73 7/16.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown raised its rating on
to a strong buy from a buy. Williams gained 1 1/16 to 35 15/16.
The California Attorney General and the
Federal Trade Commission
continue to have strong anti-trust issues regarding the planned $27 billion takeover of
, according to a regulatory source. According to
, the source said the concerns surround pricing and competition. BP Amoco lost 3/16 to 59 13/16, while ARCO slipped 3/16 to 95.
said it had devised a plan to come out of Chapter 11. The company said it plans to shut down some stores, scaling back its workforce by 900 jobs.
said it has selected Vice Chairman Peter Pestillo as the new chairman and CEO of the company's
Visteon Automotive Systems
parts division. Ford climbed 1/8 to 53 3/8.
gained 1 3/8 to 135 3/8 after it said it tapped Larry Johnson as president and CEO of
. In a separate story on GE,
joint newsroom looks at the number of GE executives heading for the exits as the list of potential successors to Chairman Jack Welch
climbed 1/2 , or 7.8%, to 6 7/8 after spokeswomen Sarah Datz said that it would not sell off all of its 1,000 West Coast stores, but would consider the sale of several hundred financially floundering West Coast units, along with a whole or partial sale of
PCS Health Systems