The major market indices closed higher, led by the tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

, capping a bumpy week of trading, while

Olivetti

is reportedly gearing up to make a bid for

Telecom Italia

(TI)

.

Shares of Telecom Italia jumped 6 3/8, or 6.4%, to 106 7/16.

TheStreet.com

wrote about the situation

this afternoon.

The Nasdaq Comp advanced 22.95, or 1%, to 2283.50. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 40.26, or 0.4%, to 9338.89. The

S&P 500

rose 1.85, or 0.2%, to 1239.13.

The

Russell 2000

inched up 1.20, or 0.3%, to 392.29.

In cyberspace,

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

jumped 9.80, or 2.1%, to 471.20, while

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

rose 0.59, or 0.6%, to 94.60.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 4/32 to 98 1/32, yielding 5.383%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

decliners beat advancers 1,530 to 1,392 on 700 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners beat losers 2,121 to 1,865 on 813 million shares.

On the NYSE, 82 issues set new 52-week lows while 25 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 97 issues set new lows while new highs totaled 23.

Most active on the Big Board was

Total Renal Care

(TRL)

, with 11.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 5/16 to 9 1/16.

On the Nasdaq, most active was

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, with 32.1 million shares changing hands. It was down 2 7/8 to 80 1/16.

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

2:52 p.m.: Stocks Cling to Modest Gains

Stocks were poised to slap a positive finish on a rocky week as the final hour of trading approached.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 80 to 9380, but off its intraday highs. It had risen nearly 100 points, peaking around 12:20 p.m. EST.

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

was powering the Dow, up 2 7/8 to 66 11/16.

Elsewhere, the

S&P 500

was up 7 to 1245.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 27 to 2288. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 393.

Internet stocks rose.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 10 to 472.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 472.

Treasuries were little changed. The 30-year bond was up 1/32 to 98 1/32, yielding 5.37%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,439 to 1,431 on 529 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 2,064 to 1,783 on 608 million shares.

On the NYSE, 70 issues had set new 52-week lows while 21 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 80 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 22.

On the Big Board,

Total Renal Care

(TRL)

was most active with 10 million shares changing hands. It was up 5/8, or 7%, to 9 3/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 21 million shares. It was down 2 3/8 to 80 9/16.

Sector Focus: Chemicals

An upgrade of three chemical companies by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

analyst Les Ravitz helped lift shares of chemical companies and boosted the

S&P Chemicals Index

1%.

Ravitz upgraded

Dow Chemical

(DOW) - Get Report

,

Millennium Chemicals

(MCH)

and Dow component

Union Carbide

(UK)

to outperform from neutral. Dow was up 2 3/16 to 95 15/16; Millennium was up 7/8 to 18 7/16; while Union Carbide rose 3/4 to 39 3/4.

Ravitz maintained an outperform rating on

Lyondell Chemical

(LYO)

. Lyondell was up 7/8, or 6.8%, to 13 11/16.

Rising prices in part led to the upgrade and a bump in earnings estimates for 1999 for the chemical companies.

"Suddenly, the industry is sold out and prices are moving up," Ravitz wrote in a research note. "We expect this firming trend to last until mid-year -- then prices should stabilize and perhaps slide a little in the second half of 1999."

Ravitz set a price target on Dow at $110; Millennium at $25; and Union Carbide at $45. He raised his earnings estimates for Dow to $5.50 a share from $5.00; Millennium to $1.50 from $1.10; Union Carbide to $2.30 from $2.00; and Lyondell to $1.00 from 50 cents.

However, Ravitz also wrote in the research note: "We still do not see a sustained cyclical recovery until 2001, but we believe the better near-term outlook should cause a rally in these stocks."

1:55 p.m.:Dow Cuts Recent Gains

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly 100 points before giving back nearly half of the advance, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up a little more than 1% at midafternoon.

The Dow was up 59 to 9358. The Nasdaq Comp was up 26 to 2287. The

S&P 500

was up 6 to 1243. The

Russell 2000

was down 2 to 393.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 8 to 469, while

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 95.

Brokerage stocks were rallying, while bank stocks lagged. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

was up 2%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index

was up 1%.

Treasuries were little changed. The 30-year bond was up 2/32 to 98 7/32, yielding 5.37%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,414 to 1,392 on 457 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners were beating losers 2,003 to 1,716 on 522 million shares.

On the NYSE, 66 issues had set new 52-week lows while 21 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 73 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 19.

On the Big Board,

Total Renal Care

(TRL)

was most active with 9 million shares changing hands. It was up 5/8, or 7%, to 9 3/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on 17 million shares. It was down 1 1/8 to 81 13/16.

A few stocks made their trading debuts today.

WebTrends

(WEBT)

and

Vignette

(VIGN)

were both flying. WebTrends, which develops software for monitoring and managing Web site traffic, was up 17 7/8, or 138%, to 30 7/8, while Vignette, which is an Internet software maker, leapt 27 1/4, or 143%, to 46 1/2.

Meanwhile,

Pinnacle Holdings

was making a less-than-stellar premiere. Pinnacle, a provider of wireless communications rental tower space in the Southeast, was down 1/16 to 14.

12:49 p.m.: Midday Musings: Major-Index Rally Masks Another Middling Session

11:57 a.m.: Stocks Climb into Positive Territory

After spending a chunk of the morning narrowly mixed, the major stocks averages were all in positive territory, with the

Nasdaq Composite Index

posting the largest percentage gain.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 22 to 2283.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 41 to 9339. The

S&P 500

was up 4 to 1242. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 393.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 7 to 468.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up fractionally at 94.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was up 5 3/16, or 6%, to 95.

CNBC

reported this morning that

CIBC Oppenheimer

Internet analyst Henry Blodget said it may be time to buy shares of the online book and music merchant.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 10/32 to 98 15/32, yielding 5.35%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,371 to 1,316 on 298 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners were beating losers 1,797 to 1,573 on 334 million shares.

On the NYSE, 54 issues had set new 52-week lows while 17 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 49 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 12.

On the Big Board,

Total Renal Care

(TRL)

was most active with 7 million shares changing hands. It was up 1, or 11%, to 9 3/4.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on 12 million shares. It was down 1/4 to 82 3/4.

Tech Focus

Among some of the tech indices, the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 1%, while the

Nasdaq 100

was also up 1%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor

Index was up 2%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 1%.

NEC

(NIPNY)

of Japan said it expects to post a net loss of $1.25 billion, or 150 billion yen, for its 1999 fiscal year ending on March 31, 115 billion yen more than the company forecast in October. NEC also said it will cut its workforce by 15,000 over a three-year period, and it announced it will reorganize its U.S. subsidiary,

Packard Bell NEC

. NEC was unchanged at 43 3/4.

In other news,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

analyst Mark Edelstone had positive words for

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

today, helping boost the stock after yesterday's 7 1/8-point decline. The stock was up 4 1/2, or 7%, to 65 3/4.

CNet

(CNET) - Get Report

was up 8, or 7%, to 117 15/16.

In the Newsletters

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

thinks it can make money on its hardware by sharing what it has learned developing an elaborate, internal e-commerce system with application vendors, consulting groups and customers, according to a story on

Computer Reseller News'

Web site. Cisco has teamed with vendors

BroadVision

(BVSN) - Get Report

,

InterWorld

and

Open Market

(OMKT)

to provide cyberspace commerce applications to customers, the article said.

In trading today, Cisco was up 1 7/16 to 97 5/8; BroadVision was 1/8 to 40 3/4; while OpenMarket was up 3/16 to 13 3/16.

11:00 a.m.: Stocks Remain Modestly Mixed in Lackluster Trading

The major stock averages were narrowly mixed at midmorning, with the

Nasdaq Composite Index

and small-cap

Russell 2000

slightly higher.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 14 to 2274. The Russell 2000 was up fractionally at 391.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 7 to 9291, while the

S&P 500

was down 2 to 1236

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 4 to 465.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down fractionally at 94.

"The market's just gone sideways this week," said Louis Todd, head of equities trading at

J.C. Bradford

. He said he is detecting a growing bearish sentiment in the market, citing the decrease in bullish sentiment in the

Investors Intelligence

sentiment survey. In its latest survey, bullish sentiment dropped to 55.7% from 61.2%.

The recent rise in bond yields have become a competitive force for the stock market, Todd said.

As for today, the market later in the session could experience some volatility because of the double expiration of some stock and futures options, he said.

Todd pointed out that there is still a lot of money out there in money-market funds waiting to go into stocks.

He said if the bond market were to rally, that might prompt investors to put money back into stocks.

Meanwhile, the 30-year Treasury bond was down 5/32 to 98, yielding 5.39%, off its modest intraday lows.

On the economic front, topping today's indicators, the overall

consumer price index

in January rose 0.1%, while the core PPI also inched up 0.1%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,456 to 1,068 on 198 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were edging losers 1,572 to 1,432 on 220 million shares.

On the NYSE, 41 issues had set new 52-week lows while 16 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 37 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 8.

On the Big Board,

Total Renal Care

(TRL)

was most active with 5 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 1/8, or 12%, to 9 7/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 8 million shares. It was down 9/16 to 82 3/8.

9:58 a.m.: Stocks Mostly Higher at Open as Treasuries Fall

The major stock averages were narrowly mixed in the early going, while the 30-year Treasury bond fell modestly.P/>The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 7 to 9306. The

S&P 500

was down fractionally at 1237. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 14 to 2275. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 393.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 7 to 468.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up fractionally at 94.

The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was down 11/32 to 97 26/32, yielding 5.40%.

On the economic front, the overall

consumer price index

in January rose 0.1%, while the core CPI also rose 0.1%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Dow Chemical (DOW) - Get Report, up 2 to 95 3/4

:

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded Dow Chemical to outperform from neutral.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, up 4 7/8 to 94 3/8

:

CNBC

reported

CIBC Oppenheimer

analyst Henry Blodget said it may be time to buy shares of the online book and music merchant.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Unilever (UN) - Get Report, down 2 3/8 to 71 3/4

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Sepracor (SEPR) , down 3 1/2 to 133 3/4

: The company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $1.10 a share, beating the 11-analyst

First Call

consensus estimate of a loss of $1.11, but worse than the year-ago loss of 51 cents.