After ruling the market for most of the morning, weakness surrendered to firmness as stocks shook off some squishiness and turned positive as the
was again in record territory.
The S&P 500 was up 10 to 1236, getting little help from the high-tech side but pushed up by such stocks as
Johnson & Johnson
Nasdaq Composite Index
was down 3 to 2177. The Comp closed at a record high yesterday at 2180.30, thanks in large part to cyberspace stocks.
Elsewhere in the market, the blue-chip
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 64 to 9291. Powering the Dow was
, up 2 9/16 to 104 1/2. The small-cap
was up 1 to 435, finally closing in on its Dec. 31, 1997, close of 437.02.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was lately down 15 to 409. Yesterday, the index swelled 4.7% on bullish news on the e-commerce front. Taking a significant breather today were Net notables
, down 7 1/16 to 267 1/8;
, down 19 to 332 1/2; and
New York Stock Exchange's
most active issue, down 5 1/4 to 152 on 12.1 million shares.
Major tech gauges were all lower. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was off 1.2%, the
was down 0.4%, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
drooped 1% and the
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
was down 0.6%.
Meanwhile, more bad news from the oil patch hammered oil-service stocks, a sector which seems to demand the question: How much more punishment can they take? The sector got lousy news yesterday after the close via
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
was lately down 3.4%.
Tax-loss selling and window dressing will continue to dominate action for the rest of the shortened trading week, said Ricky Harrington, senior vice president and technical analyst at
Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at
, noted tax-loss selling as a highlight of activity this morning. People are also positioning themselves hoping for some January effect gains in small and midcap stocks, Suskind said. But he pointed out that overall, "it's just quiet."
Harrington said volume should pick up a little bit today compared to yesterday.
Looking ahead, Harrington said early January is a real question mark for the market. With the dawn of 1999 in sight, portfolio managers won't have a reason to dress up portfolios and the tax-selling season will be over, he said. Harrington noted there could be a rally in secondary stocks due to those factors.
Of course, there are negatives, too.
"The market's overbought," Harrington said. He said sentiment and technical indicators are negative for the market right now. He cited a real market divergence in the last few weeks and poor market breadth -- "so few stocks have participated in this rally" -- as negatives for the market.
Meanwhile, rolling into 1999, market participants will have their eyes on the euro, earnings and developments in the impeachment process in Washington along with other factors, Harrington said. He noted that none of those factors alone will dominate the scene.
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index
was lately up 4.4%. Financials came off their worst levels but remained mixed. The
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
was down 0.5%, while the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
was up 0.1%.
Market breadth was divided. On the NYSE, advancers were beating decliners 1,596 to 1,261 on 307 million shares. On the
Nasdaq Stock Market
, losers were beating winners 2,021 to 1,833 on 502 million shares.
On the NYSE, 98 issues had set new 52-week highs while 53 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 82 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 88.
Among other market indices, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
was up 0.5%, the
Amex Composite Index
was up 0.6% and the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was up 0.7%.
On the Nasdaq, most active was
, with 21 million shares changing hands. It was up 79.8%.
Meanwhile in the Treasury market, the 30-year bond was lately down 2/32 to 101 13/32, yielding 5.16%.
Tuesday's Midday Movers
Aaron L. Task
In what looks like a new level of speculation in the Internet sphere,
was up 6 5/8, or 331.2%, to 8 5/8. There has been no known news development with the company, which is rising, apparently, on the anticipation it will follow the lead set yesterday by
Active Apparel Group
and announce the launch of online offerings. Proving yesterday's rise was no fluke (?) Active Apparel was up a further 7 9/16, or 65.8%, to 19 3/8. Another of yesterday's big e-commerce movers,
, was higher by 4 11/16, or 13.2%, to 40 1/8.
was down 8 5/8, or 31.8%, to 18 9/16 after announcing it will restate financial results for fiscal years 1996, 1997 and 1998 amid an extensive ongoing review of accounting principles by the company and
. Adac said the adjustments will have a material adverse impact on its fiscal 1996 and 1997 financial results.
Halliburton was off 3, or 9.1%, to 29 15/16 after announcing last night it plans to take a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of $24 million, or 5 cents a share, to cover 2,750 additional job cuts in its energy services group. Halliburton expects to report net fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents to 16 cents a share, including the charge and costs related to project losses. The 22-analyst First Call estimate calls for operating earnings of 36 cents a share vs. the year-ago 58 cents. Other names in the oft-battered oil service sector were lower in sympathy, including
, down 5/16 to 23 5/16, and
, lower by 1 7/8 to 45 1/2.
was down 7/8, or 15.6%, to 4 3/4 after saying it expects to only be "marginally profitable" in its third quarter because of construction cost overruns on six drill barges. The seven-analyst consensus called for profits of 26 cents per share.
National Discount Brokers
was up 12, or 85.7%, to 26 after reporting second-quarter profits of 42 cents per share, up from a profit of 16 cents a year ago. No estimates were available. Other online brokers rose in concert, notably
, up 4, or 7.1%, to 60 1/2; and
, lately up 2 9/16, or 7.7%, to 35 13/16.
Network Equipment Technologies
was down 2 1/16, or 15.6%, to 11 3/16 after forecasting its fiscal third-quarter earnings would not meet the six-analyst consensus forecast of 20 cents a share.
In other news:
Barnes & Noble
was up 4 9/16, or 11.1%, to 44 5/8 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
upped its price target on the bookseller.
was down 7 9/16, or 20.9%, to 28 11/16 following some negative comments by
was down 8 7/16, or 6.2%, to 128 and
was off 5 1/16, or 8.6%, to 53 1/2 on word
is planning to sell portions of its holdings in each of the companies, according to
Securities and Exchange Commission
was higher by 3, or 5.1%, to 62 on word it will be added to the Nasdaq 100 index tomorrow, replacing
Allied Waste Industries
. Allied Waste was unchanged at 21 7/16.
was higher by 2 1/8, or 5.1%, to 43 9/16 after being named one of
top picks for 1999.
ValueVision International was up 4 15/16, or 79.8%, to 11 3/16 after announcing December sales from its television home shopping network rose 70% over the same period a year ago.