Stocks Come Off Early Highs - TheStreet

Stocks surrendered their early takeover-news-fueled gains as the market's major averages were narrowly mixed at midmorning.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 5 to 9791. The

S&P 500

was down half a point to 1286. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 3 to 2464. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was down a fraction to 397.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 2 to 641.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down 1 to 113.

"It's fairly quiet so far," said Scott Curtis, senior equity trader at

Brown Brothers Harriman

, adding that if

New York Stock Exchange

volume made it over above 700 million, "I'd be really amazed."

Trading is expected to be light ahead of the long weekend. The stock market is closed tomorrow for Good Friday. Meanwhile, tonight marks the second night of Passover.

The merger announcements today -- all of which have been rumored and spoken about for a while now -- gave the market a quick push up this morning, but it's almost as if it was a "sucker rally," said Curtis, a little while after 10 a.m. EST.

In M&A news,

BP Amoco

(BPA)

agreed to buy

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

for $26.8 billion in stock. BP Amoco was down 4 1/8 to 96 7/8, while Arco fell 1/4 to 72 7/8.

Elsewhere,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

said it is buying

broadcast.com

(BCST)

in a deal valued at about $5.7 billion. Yahoo! was up 2 3/8 to 170 3/4, while broadcast.com has surged 7, or 5.9%, to 125.

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

is acquiring

King World Productions

(KWP)

for about $2.5 billion. CBS was down 1 1/4 to 39 9/16, while King World -- distributor of

The Oprah Winfrey Show

,

Wheel of Fortune

,

Jeopardy!

and

Hollywood Squares

-- was up 1/4 to 30 13/16.

The 30-year bond was down 17/32 to 94 1/32, yielding 5.67%, taking a hit in the wake of today's economic news.

Topping today's releases, the

National Association of Purchasing Management

said its March index of manufacturing activity rose to 54.3 from 52.4 in February. The number was stronger than economists expected.

On the New York Stock Exchange, advancers were beating decliners 1,357 to 1,261 on 218 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were leading winner 1,612 to 1,556 on 269 million shares.

On the NYSE, 44 issues had set new 52-week lows while 18 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 57 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 36.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 9.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 to 148.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active, with 8.5 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 1/8 to 90 3/4.

9:57 a.m.: Nasdaq Leads as Stocks Move Higher at the Open

Stocks were firm early on, led by the tech sector, in the wake of three big takeover announcements.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 29 to 2490. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 27 to 9814. The

S&P 500

was up 5 to 1292. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 400.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 13 to 656.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 2 to 115.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

agreed to buy

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

for $26.8 billion in stock. Elsewhere,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

said it is buying

broadcast.com

(BCST)

in a deal valued at about $5.7 billion, while

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

is acquiring

King World Productions

(KWP)

for about $2.5 billion.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 9/32 to 94 9/32 yielding 5.65%. In minutes, the

National Association of Purchasing Management

is slated release its March index.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

America Online (AOL) , up 5 to 152 11/16

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

RealNetworks (RNWK) - Get Report, up 14 7/16 to 136 5/8

.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Union Pacific (UNP) - Get Report, down 1 13/16 to 51 5/8

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Iona Technologies (IONA) , down 13 1/2 to 16 7/8

: The company said first-quarter results will be below its expectations. The company expects to post a loss of between 3 cents a share and break-even, compared with earnings of 10 cents a share in the year-ago period.