Nasdaq Sets Record in Strong Finish for Stocks

Huge gains in the biggest tech bellwethers and in Net stocks drove the performancer.
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Buyout and stock-split news helped propel the market's broad rally, with the charge led by technology stocks as the

Nasdaq Composite Index

closed at a record high.

The Nasdaq Comp leapt 70.20, or 2.9%, to 2477.34.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 81.10, or 0.9%, to 9281.33. The

S&P 500

jumped 22.20, or 1.8%, to 1265.37. The

Russell 2000

rose 2.85, or 0.7%, to 423.97.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index jumped 17.82, or 3.3%, to 552.41.

Helping spark a decent albeit an un-Internet-stock-like advance was the announcement that

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is

buying

GeoCities

(GCTY)

.

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

had some comments about the Internet stock frenzy in testimony before a

Senate

panel, saying that a few companies will make it but "the vast majority are almost sure to fail."

Meanwhile, news that

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

had set a 2-for-1 stock split also bolstered the market. This afternoon, drug titan

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

said its board will vote on a 3-for-1 stock split when it meets April 22.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 9/32 to 102 5/32, yielding 5.11%.

Advancers narrowly beat decliners on both major exchanges, despite the sharp market rise. Poor market breadth has been a nagging concern for a host of market participants for a while.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers edged decliners 1,552 to 1,423 on 850.8 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners beat losers 2,067 to 1,932 on 1.015 billion shares.

On the NYSE, 80 issues set new 52-week lows while 64 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 111 issues set new highs while new lows totaled 28.

On the Big Board,

America Online

was most active, with 19.7 million shares changing hands. It was up 9, or 5.4%, to 174 1/2.

Yesterday AOL posted better-than-expected earnings and set a 2-for-1 stock split.

On the Nasdaq,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was most active with 20.9 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 7/16 to 137 3/16. The chip maker set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup

.

2:54 p.m.: Equity Strength Continues Apace into Final Hour

The major stock averages were higher with the

Nasdaq Composite Index

sporting the biggest gains, but all of the indices are off their intraday highs.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 52 to 2459.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 58 to 9258.

"Basically, the market looks good near-term," said Tim Hayes, senior equity strategist at

Ned Davis Research

in Nokomis, Fla. Hayes said the Dow became oversold on Monday. He pegs support for the Dow anywhere from 9100 to 9200.

The Dow's first significant resistance level Hayes has pegged at 9370. Beyond that he has resistance at 9450 and then 9643, which is the Dow's all-time closing high level.

However, he did cite a few concerns, including, in part, weak breadth and the fact that market sentiment remains very high.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index lately was up 10 to 545. The biggest news in the sector

today has been the announcement that

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is buying

GeoCities

(GCTY)

.

The

S&P 500

was up 18 to 1261. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 423.

Meanwhile in the Treasury market, the 30-year bond was up 8/32 to 102 4/32, yielding 5.11%.

Breadth has narrowed markedly from its earlier positive bias. On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,482 to 1,417 on 660 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners were beating losers 1,967 to 1,951 on 792 million shares.

On the NYSE, 66 issues had set new 52-week lows while 59 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 100 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 22.

On the NYSE,

America Online

was most active, with 16.7 million shares changing hands. It was up 8, or 4.8%, to 173 1/2.

Yesterday AOL posted better-than-expected earnings.

On the Nasdaq,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was most active with 17.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 3/8 to 137 1/8. The chip maker set a 2-for-1 stock split.

1:56 p.m.: Nasdaq Sets Pace for Broad Gains in Stocks

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

continued to lead the market higher and was lately up 2.4%.

Stocks have been bolstered in part today by takeover announcements and the stock split by

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 57 to 2465. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 84 to 9284. The

S&P 500

was up 21 to 1264.

The

Russell 2000

was up 3 to 424.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 15 to 549.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately up 17/32 to 102 8/32, yielding 5.10%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,575 to 1,259 on 532 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners were beating losers 1,959 to 1,782 on 647 million shares.

On the NYSE, 53 issues had set new 52-week highs, while 53 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 95 issues had set new highs, while new lows totaled 19.

On the NYSE,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 14.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 8 3/4, or 5.3%, to 174 1/4.

Yesterday AOL posted better-than-expected earnings.

On the Nasdaq, Intel was most active with 15.9 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 1/8 to 136 15/16. The chip maker set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Focus: AT&T and the Baby Bells

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

and the Baby Bells are surging today, pushing the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Phone Index

up 3.6%.

AT&T was lately up 3 13/16 to 89 1/8.

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

was lately up 3 1/8, or 5.8%, to 59. It was upgraded today by

Salomon Smith Barney

to buy from neutral. Yesterday Bell Atlantic said earnings rose nearly 13% in the fourth quarter.

GTE

(GTE) - Get Report

, which is not a phone-index component and plans to be bought by Bell Atlantic, said today fourth-quarter profits rose 21%. GTE was up 1 3/4 to 67 15/16.

On Monday,

BellSouth

(BLS)

said earnings rose 37% in the fourth quarter compared with the year-ago period. It jumped today and was lately up 2 7/16, or 5.5%, to 46 5/8.

12:51 p.m.: Midday Musings: Strong and Steady, Stocks Enjoy a Straightforward Surge

11:56 a.m.: Stocks Strengthen Further Toward Noontime

Deal news and a stock split from

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

all aided in the market's rise as the tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

led the way higher and was lately up 1.9%.

Meanwhile, in Washington,

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

reiterated criticisms of

President Clinton's

plan to invest some Social Security money in the stock market and addressed the issue of the Internet stock frenzy.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 45 to 2452.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 14 to 549.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 61 to 9261.

Elsewhere, the

S&P 500

was up 15 to 1258. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 423.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 5/32 to 102 1/32, yielding 5.12%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early

Bond Focus.)

Among today's notable deals:

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is buying

GeoCities

(GCTY)

(

TheStreet.com

broke the news of the talks

last night);

TRW

(TRW)

said it's buying

LucasVarity

(LVA)

; and

Ford

(F) - Get Report

is buying

Volvo's

(VOLVY)

passenger car business.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,491 to 1,155 on 344 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners were beating losers 1,880 to 1,606 on 438 million shares.

On the NYSE, 44 issues had set new 52-week lows while 38 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 75 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 17.

On the Big Board,

America Online

was most active, with 11.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 8 1/4 to 173 3/4.

Yesterday AOL posted better-than-expected earnings.

On the Nasdaq, Intel was most active with 12.9 million shares changing hands. It was up 3 15/16 to 136 3/4. The chip maker set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Tech Focus

Internet stocks were powered by the Yahoo! buyout of GeoCities, and tech in general found a boost in the Intel stock split and positive earnings from AOL lifting tech proxies nicely.

Among the major tech indices, the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 2.5%. The

Nasdaq 100

was up 2.3%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 1.9%.

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 2.2%.

Yahoo! was up 13 7/8, or 4.2%, to 348 3/8, while GeoCities was up 37 3/8, or 50.2%, to 111 7/8.

Greenspan, in testimony before the

Senate Budget Committee

, said that some of the Net companies will succeed but the vast majority will fail. Although he used a lottery analogy in describing Net-stock trading, he said the valuations of some Net stocks in the end may be justified.

Last week he didn't get into the Internet stock issue in his appearance before the

House Ways and Means Committee

.

In upcoming earnings news,

broadcast.com

(BCST)

will report earnings

today.

11:03 a.m.: Tech Stays in the Vanguard as Market Strength Continues

In what at times seems an endless refrain, technology stocks were leading the market higher, while

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

this morning weighed in on the Internet stock craze.

The Fed chief said that some of the Net companies will succeed but the vast majority will fail. Although he used a lottery analogy in describing Net-stock trading, he said the valuations of some Net stocks in the end may be justified. His comments may have weighed on the sector as the stocks came well off their highs before bouncing back. The chairman made the comments about Net stocks in response to a question from a senator in an appearance before the

Senate Budget Committee

.

In the news,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is buying

GeoCities

(GCTY)

for $3.6 billion in stock.

TheStreet.com

broke the news of the talks

last night.

Yahoo! was lately up 15 1/2 to 350, while GeoCities was up 36 9/16, or 49.1%, to 111 1/16.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 12 to 546.

Elsewhere, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 39 to 9239. The

S&P 500

was up 11 to 1254. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 32 to 2439. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 423.

The 30-year Treasury bond fell. It was lately down 4/32 to 101 19/32, yielding 5.15%.

Harry Laubscher, market analyst at

Tucker Anthony

, said he expects the stock market to move up through the latter part of next week and then it will probably sell off. He added that, on balance, Tucker Anthony is recommending that clients sell into whatever strength the market provides.

In other acquisition news,

TRW

(TRW)

said it is buying British auto parts concern

LucasVarity

(LVA)

for $7 billion. Earlier this week, LucasVarity rebuffed a takeover offer from

Federal-Mogul

(FMO) - Get Report

. Federal-Mogul recently said it may revise its bid for LucasVarity.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

said it is acquiring

Volvo's

(VOLVY)

passenger car business for roughly $6.5 billion.

Another buoying factor for tech stocks was news that

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

set a 2-for-1 stock split.

"Of course, the Intel split is helping everything," Laubscher said.

Laubscher said he recommends that investors to put money to work in

Texaco

(TEX) - Get Report

and

Service

(SRV) - Get Report

because the stocks are oversold and right now make an attractive investment.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were pounding decliners 1,446 to 1,093 on 244 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were hammering losers 1,777 to 1,447 on 319 million shares.

On the NYSE, 41 issues had set new 52-week lows while 29 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 67 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 12.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active with 9.6 million shares changing hands. It was up 6 5/8 to 172 1/8.

Yesterday AOL posted better-than-expected earnings.

On the Nasdaq, Intel was most active with 10.9 million shares changing hands. It was up 3 1/4 to 136.

9:57 a.m.: Tech Leads Again as Stocks Power Higher

Some big buyout news highlights a busy morning and has helped push stocks higher. Meanwhile,

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

recently made some comments about the Internet phenomenon, saying that while some of the Net companies will succeed, the vast majority will fail.

In further consolidation in the Netland,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is buying

GeoCities

(GCTY)

for $3.6 billion in stock.

TheStreet.com

late yesterday broke the news of talks between the companies.

The biggest deal of the day has come in the auto parts industry.

TRW

(TRW)

said it is buying British auto parts concern

LucasVarity

(LVA)

for $7 billion. Earlier this week, LucasVarity rebuffed a takeover offer from

Federal-Mogul

(FMO) - Get Report

. Federal-Mogul recently urged LucasVarity shareholders to hold off on action on the TRW bid.

Meanwhile,

Ford

(F) - Get Report

said it is acquiring

Volvo's

(VOLVY)

passenger car business for $6.5 billion.

In Washington, Greenspan is testifying before the

Senate Budget Committee

. He made the Internet comments -- employing a lottery analogy -- in response to a question from a senator. In his prepared remarks, he focused on the issue of Social Security. The chairman's Net skepticism may have weighed on

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index, which was up 17.88 to 552.47 at its early peak but dipped as low as 542.68 around 9:50 a.m. It lately was up 12 to 547.

In other news, continuing the recent rash of stock-split news, chip titan

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

set a 2-for-1 stock split. It was up 5 1/8 to 137 13/16.

The major stock averages were higher. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 70 to 9270. The

S&P 500

was up 14 to 1257. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 36 to 2443. The

Russell 2000

was up 3 to 424.

More earnings reports have also hit the wires today, giving investors even more information to chew on.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 8/32 to 101 15/32, yielding 5.15%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Vodafone (VOD) - Get Report, up 3 5/8 to 197 1/4

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

GeoCities (GCTY) , up 40 1/4 to 115 1/4

.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

General Motors (GM) - Get Report, down 1 to 92 3/8

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM) - Get Report, down 4 to 49

: The company yesterday reported second-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, in line with estimates.

As originally published, this story contained an error. Please see Corrections and Clarifications

.