Rate-Cut Hopes Help Stocks Close Higher

Cisco, Siebel and Juniper are stronger. Bonds also climb.
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Updated from 2:35 p.m. EST

The major averages closed higher Monday as Wall Street anticipated another interest rate cut by the

Fed.

The

Dow rose 117.49 points, or 1.3%, to 9441.03. The

Nasdaq was up 47.74 points, or 2.7%, to 1793.47, and the

S&P 500 was up 15.61, or 1.4%, at 1102.81.

About 1.69 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq, while the

New York Stock Exchange swapped 1.18 billion shares. Among sectors, chips were up almost 3%, and Internet stocks gained almost 4%. Biotechs and banks were also stronger, and cyclicals were fractionally higher.

The

Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday to consider monetary policy. Economists are divided almost evenly on whether the panel will cut interest rates by a quarter-point or a half-point, but the latter is taking the lead as the meeting approaches. The European Central Bank and the Bank of England will also weigh cuts this week.

Investors also awaited

Cisco's

(CSCO) - Get Report

earnings release after the bell Monday. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call is for earnings of 2 cents a share in the company's first fiscal quarter. Cisco closed up 48 cents, or 2.8%, to $17.74.

Siebel Systems

(SEBL)

gained $3.28, or 19%, to $20.57 following optimistic comments from the company's CEO, and

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

climbed $2.87, or 14.7%, to $22.35.

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

was active, trading up 58 cents, or 5.1%, to $12.02.

Elsewhere,

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

fell 28 cents, or 2%, to $13.74. Merrill Lynch downgraded the retailer to neutral from buy, citing uncertainty about the timing of an earnings recovery. Merrill also lowered its estimates for 2001 and 2002.

Satellite television provider

EchoStar

(DISH) - Get Report

said it received a $5.5 billion financing commitment from Credit Suisse First Boston and Deutsche Bank for its proposed acquisition of

Hughes Electronics

(GMH)

from

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

. EchoStar was up 2.9% to $23.44. Hughes and GM were also higher.

Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year Treasury note was gaining 16/32 to 105 18/32, yielding 4.29%.

Overseas markets were mostly higher, with London's FTSE 100 ending 1.6% higher at 5209 and Germany's Xetra Dax gaining 3.8% to 4755. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei gained 0.6% to close at 10,448, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 2.4% higher at 10,431.