Nasdaq Soars 3.4% as Wall Street Ends Week Rallying

Across-the-board strength got even stronger as the major indices wrapped up a powerful advance.
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Like glowing reviews of

The Saint

, alarming inflationary pressures were absent from the

Producer Price Index

, news that sent stocks and bonds soaring.

The

Labor Department

said the overall PPI rose 0.2% in July, lower than the 0.3% advance economists projected in a

Reuters

survey. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, was flat. Economists in the

Reuters

poll were expecting the core PPI to rise 0.1%.

Inflation fears have seized the market lately. While the news on wholesale inflation was good, Wall Street still expects the

Fed

to raise short-term interest rates Aug. 24. And looking ahead, the markets face Tuesday's release of the

Consumer Price Index

.

Gains in major market averages and breadth were for the most part impressive. Volume on the Big Board, however, was not.

Meanwhile, troubled -- and that's being kind -- satellite telecommunications concern

Iridium

(IRID)

filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. Trading in the stock was halted this afternoon. It was down 1 3/16 to 3 1/16.

Aluminum was back in the news when word hit that

Michigan Avenue Partners

, a buyout concern, has made a bid for

Reynolds Metals

(RLM) - Get Report

.

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

, of course, made a $4.1 billion bid for Reynolds Metals earlier this week.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers beat decliners 1,952 to 1,035 on 695 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners beat losers 2,423 to 1,467 on 927.9 million shares.

On the NYSE, 145 issues set new 52-week lows while 40 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 88 issues set new 52-week highs while new lows totaled 65.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active with 14.4 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 1/8 to 96 7/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active with 32.3 million shares changing hands. It was up 3 to 84 11/16.

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

.

Earlier...

3:21 p.m.: Stocks Take Big Gains Into Home Stretch

The

Dow Jones

took off from the foul line, did a 360, windmilled twice, waved to the camera, said "Hi" to Mom and shattered the backboard. The Dow got game today, up in triple digits. The

Nasdaq

and the

S&P 500

look nice for the long side, too.

2:08 p.m.: Stocks Gliding Higher as GE Affiliate Seeks to Foil Alcoa Bid

Stocks and bonds continued sharply higher this afternoon thanks to an inflation fear soothing July

Producer Price Index

reading, while more big news was breaking in the world of aluminum.

1:19 p.m.: Midday Musings: Powerful Rally Starting to Make Some Believers

11:55 a.m.: Indices Leap to Session Highs

Investors were showing

Susan Powter

-like enthusiasm for Internet stocks, sending shares of the recently decimated sector to beefy gains.

10:54 a.m.: Rally Continues to Cheer Wall Street's Long Side

Inflation fears were given some Valium this morning as a weaker-than-anticipated reading on wholesale inflation sent stocks and bonds higher.

9:55 a.m.: Markets Storms Higher at the Open

Stocks found a friend in the

Producer Price Index

, which came in lower than economists expected, helping soothe -- at least for the time being -- inflation fears.