Bonds? We don' need no stinkin' bonds!
Equity cowboys and cowgirls saddled up and left their fixed-income compadres in the trail dust, sending stocks thundering higher as bonds languished. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
recorded its third-straight triple-digit advance and returned to above 8000, rising 103.13 to 8021.23. That's 79.20 higher than it was at the close Thursday, before a Friday drop of 247.37 that seems increasingly insignificant.
Nasdaq Composite Index
blasted up 27.96 to 1628.67, moving on chunky gains in
and other big names. The broad
rose 13.34 to 939.35 and the small-cap
added 5.27 to 419.06.
Market breadth was decidedly positive and volume picked up strongly on the Nasdaq, where 723.2 million shares changed hands as 2,640 advancers crushed 1,714 decliners. On the
New York Stock Exchange
, advancers beat decliners by 1,934 to 889 on 520.6 million shares.
Bonds were a totally different story, as the yield on the bellwether 30-year Treasury rose to 6.54%. That move, triggered by an unexpected decline in the U.S. trade deficit, had no effect on the galloping financial stocks:
rose 3 to 114 1/2,
gained 2 13/16 to 70 7/16 and
added 1 15/16 to 136 15/16.
"I'll be damned if I can explain it," said Stanley Nabi, chief economist and chairman of the investment policy and strategy committee at the
Wood Struthers & Winthrop
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
. "Nothing has come out. Interest rates are up today, they were up slightly yesterday, so it was not interest-rate induced."
Despite a good advance-decline ratio and active volume, Nabi said he finds the current run-up "flimsy. My guess is that this recovery will not take the market all the way up to where it was before. The technicians will look at it and say this was a failed test, and that will take it down again if the bond market is not behind it."
Wednesday's market action
(earnings estimates from
improved 3 7/16 to 48 despite reporting late yesterday first-quarter earnings a penny short of expectations. (
looked at Newbridge's earnings report in a
yesterday.) Other networkers surged as well, with
up 2 5/8 to 78 3/8,
up 1 7/16 to 48 1/16 and
up 3/16 to 20 1/32. Fore's rise came amid takeover rumors that one trader called no more substantive than past rumors, which so far haven't panned out.
The semiconductor industry basked in the glow of positive sentiment today, with
glowing brightest. It shot up 8 7/16, or 14.6%, to 66 5/16. Also leaping higher were
Kulicke & Soffa Industries
, up 4 3/8, or 9.6%, to an all-time high of 50 1/2;
, up 6 1/8, or 8.8%, to an all-time high of 75 5/8;
, up 4 5/8 to an all-time high of 108; and
, up 3 7/16 to an all-time high of 119 1/2.
rose 7/8 to 47 13/16 on news of its planned $471 million acquisition of privately held brokerage
Wheat First Butcher Singer
took a close look at the
Wheat First Union
deal in today's
leapt 6 1/4 to 112 1/2 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
upgraded the stock to strong buy from outperform. That lent health to the rest of the drug sector, with
up 2 9/16 to 55 3/4,
up 2 5/8 to 79 15/16,
up 1 to 95 3/4 and
Johnson & Johnson
up 7/16 to 59 9/16.
Just For Feet
skidded 2 7/8, or 18.8%, to a two-year low of 12 1/2 after reporting second-quarter earnings of 16 cents per share, 4 cents short of the nine-analyst outlook but up from the year-ago 10 cents.
downgraded the stock to neutral from buy and
cut it to buy from strong buy.
bounded 2 7/8, or 12.8%, to 25 3/8 after
Hambrecht & Quist
upgraded the stock to strong buy from buy.
added 1/8 to 24 5/8 amid chatter -- reported
-- that it is planning to make a bid for troubled Apple clone maker
rose 2 3/8 to a 52-week high of 20 5/8 after
upgraded the stock to buy from long-term attractive.
jumped 2 1/2, or 15%, to 19 1/8 after
upgraded the stock to strong buy from buy. The firm set a six- to nine-month price target of 20 to 25.
ascended 4 1/4, or 19.2%, to a post-offering high of 26 9/16 after entering into a three-year pact with
Barnes & Noble
. The deal will link the companies' Web sites and provide cross-promotion. Barnes & Noble edged down 1/16 to 47 1/8.
Elsewhere on the Net,
jumped 3 7/8, or 14.7%, to 30 1/4 on news that its new Internet service, Snap! Online, has signed more than 50 content providers ahead of its planned September launch.
improved 1 11/16 to an all-time high of 56 11/16 after saying its credit-card losses will peak sooner than its previous prediction of the first quarter of 1998. The bank didn't offer a new forecast.
Capital One Financial
dropped 2 5/8 to 36 3/8 after DLJ downgraded the stock to market perform from buy.
added 1 15/16 to 57 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 79 cents per share, 11 cents ahead of the eight-analyst estimate but down from the year-earlier 81 cents.
gained 1 1/16 to 19 7/8 after reporting fourth-quarter operating earnings of 29 cents per share, 3 cents better than the five-analyst forecast and up from the year-ago 1 cent.
sloughed off 1 5/16 to 34 15/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 27 cents per share, in line with the 15-analyst view and up from the year-ago 26 cents.
Despite an upgrade to buy from hold at
lost 7/8, or 11%, to 7 1/4 after announcing it received a license from
Roche Molecular Systems
F. Hoffmann-La Roche
allowing Visible Genetics to develop, market and sell diagnostic kits and systems for a variety of disorders.
slid 2 to 39 3/8 on a valuation-based downgrade to neutral from buy at
fell 1 3/4, or 10.6%, to 14 3/4 after saying it is no longer considering a proposal to acquire the company. Patrick never disclosed the identity of the now-spurned bidder.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
gave up 15/16 to 38 7/8 after saying it planned a secondary offering of 8 million shares in the U.S. and Europe.