Save for a brief foray above
10,000 and a failed run to the millennial level in the final hour of trading, there was little for Wall Street bulls to snort about today.
More disappointing (perhaps) than the inability of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
to sustain a move above 10,000 was the sluggishness of blue-chips despite a decent bond-market rally. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 23/32 to 96 24/32, its yield dipping to 5.47%.
Moreover, while tech stocks built on
yesterday's gains, transports failed to follow through and banking stocks stumbled.
The Dow rose as high as 10,001.79 shortly before 10 a.m., but the historical level
came and went almost before a near-breathless
could report its passing. The Dow spent most of the session hovering in a tight range on either side of break-even before rallying at about 3 p.m. to as high as 9984.02. The index then faltered and closed down 28.30, or 0.3%, to 9930.46.
were the biggest drags on the Dow while the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
shed 2.1%. However, the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
, which paced the Dow's early rise after forecasting better-than-expected earnings, finished up just 1/2 to 44, off its morning high of 46.
Like Union Carbide's forecast and a $2 billion buyback announcement by
, the reiteration of bullish market calls by widely followed seers
Abby Joseph Cohen
, market strategist at
, chief technical analyst at
, failed to inspire substantive buying. Still, traders weren't too chagrined.
"It's kind of disappointing it didn't stay up there but we're so close and we'll probably get it tomorrow or Thursday," said Jay Meagrow, vice president of trading at
in Cleveland, of Dow 10,000. "Yesterday should have been the day. We only spent about a minute above it and it looked like a dose of market orders got it there."
Meagrow who predicted
March 8 the Dow would soon establish a new trading range between 9700 and 10,300 said there was "no dominant feature" of trading today. "Everything was pretty sideways," he said. "Today, everything calmed down."
also failed to extend its recent string of records, falling 0.90, or 0.1%, to 1306.36 after touching 1311.13 at its apex. The
closed down 1.67, or 0.4%, to 399.17.
Nasdaq Composite Index
rose 7.83, or 0.3%, to 2439.27 but off its intraday high of 2450.01.
led another day of gains among tech bellwethers in both over-the-counter and listed trading. The
rose 0.6% while the
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
Chip and equipment makers stormed higher after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
rose 4.5% as chipmakers such as
rallied in concert.
Internet proxies surrendered intraday gains, however.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index rose as high as 615.67 but failed to notch a second-straight record close, closing down 0.18, or 0.03%, to 604.65.
TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index
dipped 0.30, or 0.3%, to 109.89 after rising as high as 115.66, a level that would have established a new high for the index.
'Near-term, the sheer force of the fact we're here at 10,000 will take us up a couple hundred more points,' said Prime Charter's Scott Bleier. 'But I think we need some extended period of consolidation to work off the highly narrow nature of the market.'
Still, secondary Net names stormed higher, including
, up 156% from its IPO price of 17. Representing the dark side of Internet volatility,
rose as high as 98 but closed down 25.8% at 68 1/2, while
closed down 28.1% at 17 5/8 after reaching as high as 25 1/2 intraday.
"Bottom line, there continues to be really hot money going into secondary Internet stocks," said Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at
. "They're coming out of the woodwork. It's different names but they're exhibiting the same characteristics we saw late last year in other Internet names."
Speculative froth in the secondary Net plays is a "direct inverse theory of investing than money rotating into lagging 'value stocks' and big-cap defensive names, which is what took us up to 10,000," Bleier said. "Now that we hit 10,000, we continue to see much more of the same -- a narrowly focused, highly fragmented market with rather miserable market internals."
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 752 million shares traded while declining stocks beat advancers 1,664 to 1,299. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
activity 983.8 million shares were exchanged while losers led 2,278 to 1,703. New 52-week lows led new highs 75 to 58 on the Big Board and by 113 to 74 in over-the-counter trading.
Bleier, who forecast the Dow would hit 10,000 sometime in the first quarter back on
Dec. 14, remains optimistic about the market's long-term prospects. But recent action is "laying the seeds for something a little more bearish," he said, predicting the Dow could go as high as 10,500 near-term but will then "retest" its "breakout level" around 9600.
"This whole market since 9150 has been marked by miserable breadth," he said. "Near-term, the sheer force of the fact we're here at 10,000 will take us up a couple hundred more points. But I think we need some extended period of consolidation to work off the highly narrow nature of the market."
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
fell 16.08, or 0.5%, to 3388.57; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
shed 0.42, or 0.1%, to 301.54; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
fell 4.60, or 0.6%, to 716.31.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
edged up 13.82 to 6619.82 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
soared 120.49, or 2.5%, to 4890.39.
Tuesday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
As noted above, Dow component Union Carbide only managed to lift 1/2 to 44 after saying its first-quarter earnings will come in near 47 cents a share. The 10-analyst consensus called for 34 cents vs. the year-ago $1.01.
Elsewhere among the gilded 30,
gained 1 5/8 to an all-time high of 85 7/8 after saying the
Food and Drug Administration
approved the expanded use of its cholesterol-lowering medicine
. Mevacor is now indicated to reduce the risk of first heart attack, unstable angina and coronary revascularization procedures. This benefit is widely seen as a class effect among the statin drugs, of which Mevacor is nowhere near the market leader.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
climbed 3, or 60%, to 8 1/8 after privately held
High Technology Holding
agreed to up its stake in the company, offering $10.13 a share. High Tech, which now owns 10%, may buy up to 50% of the company shares.
lost 5 1/16, or 29.7%, to an all-time low of 12 1/2 after
antitrust division plans to file an antitrust lawsuit to block its acquisition of Broughton. Suiza Foods sank 2 13/16, or 7.3%, to 35 1/2. Apparently, the feds argued that the planned acquisition would result in higher prices for milk sold to school districts in Kentucky.
slipped 5/8 to 34 1/16 after the Justice Department approved its $585 million acquisition of
shot up 1 13/16, or 12.8%, to 16 after announcing
agreed to use its TotalCommerce e-commerce payment services for a new Web-based store. EarthLink rose 3 9/16, or 5.1%, to 73 9/32.
continued its climb, popping up 3 3/4, or 17.4%, to an all-time high of 25 3/8, on yesterday's news it will provide free fax-to-email service to
. Xoom.com, which announced a secondary offering of 4 million shares, shed 6 1/2, or 9.3%, to 63 3/4.
grew 2 7/16, or 5.4%, to 47 5/8 on news its merger with
may be completed this year instead of the previously planned 2001. Hoechst dropped 9/16 to 45 3/8.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
800 Travel Systems
soared 2 9/16, or 50%, to 7 11/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, in line with the single-analyst view and rising above the year-ago loss of 3 cents.
added 5/16 to 19 7/16 after reporting first-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share, beating both the three-analyst estimate of 34 cents and the year-ago 31 cents.
vaulted 4 5/16, or 14%, to an all-time high of 35 3/16 after reporting its February same-U.S.-laser revenue rose 40% from a year ago.
declined 1 5/8, or 12.9%, to an annual low of 11 after last night saying it sees fourth-quarter earnings of 40 cents to 50 cents a share, including a gain from the sale of its
unit to a unit of
. The six-analyst estimate calls for operating earnings of 25 cents vs. the year-ago 19 cents.
tumbled 2 11/16, or 17.3%, to 12 7/8 after warning it will miss first-quarter earnings estimates due to lower-than-expected European gaming sales and a legal charge.
Offerings and stock actions
FlashNet Communications rocketed up 26 1/2, or 155.8%, to 43 5/8 after its 3 million-share IPO priced above range a $17 a share. The company, making its market debut through
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
, is a provider of consumer Internet access and business services.
released a bouquet of details about its planned spring IPO. The 130-year-old investment bank said it hopes to raise $3.45 billion through the 60 million-share offering. The company, which applied to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GS, expects the offering to be priced at $40 to $50 a share.
jumped 11 3/4, or 10.4%, to an all-time high of 126 on news billionaire
will invest up to $750 million for a controlling stake in the company.
expanded 3 5/8, or 8.5%, to 46 5/8 after saying it filed for an IPO for its health-care e-commerce unit. The company also warned it expects third- and fourth-quarter profits to fall short of expectations due to litigation fees and slower-than-anticipated growth at its
A sampling of semiconductor equipment makers rallied, some more than others, after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded the following to strong buy from outperform: ASM Lithography, which moved up 3 3/16, or 7.5%, to 45 9/16; Cymer, up 2 5/16, or 9.8%, to 25 15/16; DuPont Photomasks, up 1 1/2 to 40 3/4; and Etec Systems, up 4 1/8, or 9.2%, to 48 15/16.
scored 1 13/16 to 41 15/16 after
Hambrecht & Quist
raised the stock to buy from hold.
advanced 1 7/8 to 75 after
Brown Brothers Harriman
started coverage with a short-term strong buy and a long-term buy.
collapsed 1 5/8, or 27.4%, to an all-time low of 4 3/8 after
BT Alex. Brown
downgraded the stock to market perform from buy.
excelled 9 1/16, or 22.7%, to 49 3/16 after
started coverage at buy.
lowered 2 1/2 to 70 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter initiated coverage at neutral. Hambrecht & Quist began coverage at buy.
gained 1 9/16 to 36 1/4 after launching
Boeing Airplane Services
, a new business dedicated to postdelivery modification and engineering services for commercial airplanes.
, a global Internet retailer of computer hardware, software and accessories, shot up 2 13/16, or 15.2%, to 21 3/8 after unveiling its new online auction site,
Emcee Broadcast Products
blasted up 2 1/4, or 163.6%, to an annual high of 3 21/32 after announcing it will create a subsidiary to invest in building and operating wireless high-speed Internet systems in the U.S.
vaulted 4, or 51.2%, to 12 after a
Wall Street Journal
last night that Bernie Schaeffer, chairman of
Schaeffer's Investment Research
, touted the company.
climbed 11 5/16, or 23.5%, to an all-time high of 59 1/2 after CEO Warren Musser appeared on
, saying his venture capital firm is changing its strategy to concentrate on Internet investments.