Russell Leads March Higher

Market internals were unquestionably positive.
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The small-cap

Russell 2000

was sharply higher late this morning, pacing the market's major gauges on the upside, while market internals were decidedly positive.

The Russell 2000 was up 9, or 2%, to 424.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,790 to 946 on 385 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 2,011 to 1,356 on 480 million shares.

On the NYSE, 22 issues had set new 52-week highs while 11 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 41 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 27.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 36 to 10,485.

The

S&P 500

was up 14 to 1320. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 41 to 2451.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 31 to 626.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 10/32 to 96 14/32, yielding 5.50%.

Tech Focus

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

was the biggest gainer on the Nasdaq, up 38 1/2, or 27%, to 179 1/2. The company yesterday reported second-quarter earnings, excluding charges, of 82 cents a share, up from 25 cents a year ago and well in excess of the First Call 15-analyst consensus of 59 cents. Including the charges, the company lost 59 cents a share.

In response, several analysts upgraded the stock.

NationsBanc Montgomery Securities

upgraded it to buy from hold;

Goldman Sachs

upgraded it to trading buy from market outperform; and BT Alex. Brown upgraded it to strong buy from buy.

The

Nasdaq 100

was up 2%, while the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 3%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 5%, while the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 1%.

Compaq

(CPQ)

was down 1/4 to 23 3/4 after it reported first-quarter earnings today.

The PC maker posted first-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share. The First Call 29-analyst consensus outlook called for earnings of 15 cents. In the year-ago period, Compaq posted earnings of a penny.

On the Big Board,

Cadence Design Systems

(CDN)

was most active on 16 million shares. It was down 9 7/8, or 47%, to 10 15/16, after it warned it sees slower revenue and earnings growth for the rest of 1999. It reported first-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, a penny better than the First Call 14-analyst outlook and up from the year-ago break-even.

A host of analysts downgraded the stock today.

On the Nasdaq, most active was

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, with 26 million shares changing hands. It was down 1 1/16 to 82 1/16. Microsoft after the close Tuesday posted third-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, beating the 22-analyst First Call estimate of 32 cents and moving up from 25 cents a year ago.

Prudential Securities

downgraded Mister Softee to hold from accumulate.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

slumped ahead of the release of its quarterly earnings report, falling 2 5/8 to 167 1/8. TheStreet.com previewed the earnings release due today in a story

this morning.

10:58 a.m.: Stocks Continue to Chip Away at Monday's Big Losses

Small-cap stocks were outpacing the rest of the market, as technology and Internet stocks resumed their upward trend in their quest to wipe out the massive losses they suffered in

Monday's swoon.

The

Russell 2000

was up 8, or 2%, to 423. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 32 to 2441.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 31 to 627.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 63 to 10,512, paced by

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

and

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

.

The

S&P 500

was up 13 to 1320.

Looking ahead, Peter Green, director of technical research at

Gruntal

, said he anticipates the Nasdaq Comp to underperform the S&P 500 going forward because the Comp broke a relative strength uptrend line against the S&P 500 on Monday. He sees the Comp being supported at 2250.

Green has an upside target on the Dow of 10,900. He also noted that the Dow is going to run into resistance at 10,800.

The S&P could go as high as 1380, but "my sense is we're not going to do it," he said.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 6/32 to 96 10/32, yielding 5.50%, off its best levels of the session.

Oil service stocks rose. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

was up 4%.

Retail stocks advanced. The

S&P Retail Index

jumped 2%.

Transportation stocks were strong after falling yesterday. The

Dow Jones Transportation Average

was up 2%.

Market internals, meanwhile, were strong. 1,752 to 860 on 262 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 1,915 to 1,205 on 341 million shares.

On the NYSE, 18 issues had set new 52-week highs while 10 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 35 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 19.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 12 million shares changing hands. It was up 8 3/16, or 6%, to 136 7/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active, with 20 million shares changing hands. It was down 1 7/8 to 81 1/4. Microsoft reported third-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, beating the 22-analyst

First Call

estimate of 32 cents and moving up from 25 cents a year ago.

Prudential Securities

downgraded Microsoft to hold from accumulate.

10:00 a.m.: Stocks Mostly Higher in Volatile Trading

After opening higher, then falling, stocks were lately on the firm side as most of the market's major barometers were in the green.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 21 to 10,469. The

S&P 500

was up 1 to 1307. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 5 to 2405. The

Russell 2000

was up 3 to 418.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 11 to 607.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 15/32 to 96 20/32, yielding 5.48%.

AMR

(AMR)

, parent of

American Airlines

, posted first-quarter operating earnings of 34 cents a share, a penny ahead of the

First Call

11-analyst estimate. AMR was up 3/4 68 9/16.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Sap (SAP) - Get Report, up 3 1/4 to 27 7/8

: The company posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report, up 33 5/8 to 174 1/4

: The company yesterday reported second-quarter earnings, excluding charges, of 82 cents a share, up from 25 cents a year ago and well in excess of the First Call 15-analyst consensus of 59 cents. Including the charges, the company lost 59 cents a share.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

BP Amoco (BPA) , down 2 5/8 to 104 5/8

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Amgen (AMGN) - Get Report, down 6 1/2 to 62 1/2

: The company yesterday produced first-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, up from 35 cents a year ago and 2 cents better than the 25-analyst estimate.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

downgraded Amgen to neutral from outperform.