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Stocks Drift Higher on Light Volume

The stock market treaded water on a semi-holiday of extraordinarily low volume, resting up for an


swim through the choppiest part of the earnings season.

All of the major indices popped higher this morning, then came off their highs to close not too far from break-even. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, which traded as high as 8114.71 before 10 a.m. EDT, slid back to close up 27.01 at 8072.22. Earnings-related news propelled the index's top performers:

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report

up 1 11/16 to 120 3/8 despite missing

First Call's

third-quarter estimate by 3 cents per share, and


(CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report


General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report

moved up smartly on positive earnings outlooks.

Nasdaq Stock Market

volume managed to stay around its daily average, but the

New York Stock Exchange

had one of its thinnest days of the year as many Wall Streeters took advantage of the closed bond market to enjoy a three-day weekend. Big Board advancers outpaced decliners by 1,503 to 1,327 on a paltry 357.8 million shares. On the Nasdaq, 2,340 advancers led 2,123 decliners on 664.9 million shares.

Among the other major indices, the broad

S&P 500

rose 1.12 to 968.10, the tech-bedecked

Nasdaq Composite Index

gained 3.08 to 1742.11 and the small-cap

Russell 2000

edged up 0.18 to a record 465.21.

"The absence of trading in the bond market has made some equity players a bit fearless, and without a counterpoint to go by -- namely the bond market -- it seems that some of Mr.


remarks have been quickly forgotten," said Alan Ackerman, market strategist at



A look at today's

Equipro Report

, a

Thomson Research

publication prepared by

Pegasus Econometric Group

, backs up that take on the market's response to

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's

dark-tinged Wednesday testimony. "More economic data is needed before Greenspan's remarks will bully us out of this market," Pegasus said. "A sustained daily close below 8020

on the Dow will warn that we should take Greenspan's remarks more seriously, and because 8020 is in the thick of daily price action we have nothing to lose by waiting to see if this support holds or not."

Monday's market action

(earnings estimates from

First Call


Netcom On-Line Communications Services


exploded up 6 1/8, or 40.8%, to a 52-week high of 21 3/16 after

ICG Communications


agreed to buy the Internet service provider for $283.5 million in stock. ICG, a competitive local-exchange carrier, lost 7/8 to 25 3/16.

Hummingbird Communications


skyrocketed 11 3/8, or 28.1%, to a nearly two-year high of 51 3/4, reportedly on positive comments at a

BT Alex. Brown

conference. (

looked into Hummingbird's stunning rise in a

story today.)

Greenfield Industries


surged 5 7/16, or 17%, to a 52-week high of 37 1/2 after


(KMT) - Get Kennametal Inc. Report

agreed to acquire the company in a $1 billion deal. The price includes the assumption of $320 million in Greenfield debt and convertible preferred shares. Kennametal gave up 7/8 to 51 9/16.

Ballard Power Systems


surged 8, or 13.1%, to an all-time high of 69 3/8. There was no news that directly explained the rise, but a Saturday

article in

The Financial Post

examined the stock's recent outperformance and offered some possible explanations.

B.A.T Industries

(BTI) - Get British American Tobacco PLC Sponsored ADR Report

rose 13/16 to 75 5/16 after reporting earnings of $1.12 per share, 11 cents better than the 17-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 86 cents.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette


retreated from a strong start, gaining 1/2 to 76 after trading as high as 78 5/16. The firm reported earnings of $1.80 per share, crushing the six-analyst expectation of $1.26 and the year-ago 86 cents. (

took a glance at DLJ in today's

Midday Musings.)


(MTW) - Get Manitowoc Company, Inc. Report

shed 4 7/16, or 11.5%, to 34 1/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 55 cents per share. That beat the year-ago 49 cents but fell short of the four-analyst forecast, 60 cents.

Advanced Energy Industries

(AEIS) - Get Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. Report

leapt 3 3/8, or 11.1%, to an all-time high of 33 15/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 24 cents per share. The four-analyst view called for 16 cents and the company made 1 cent a year ago.

Fletcher Challenge Energy


TheStreet Recommends

jumped 5, or 8.9%, to an all-time high of 61 3/16 after

Lehman Brothers

started coverage at buy.



dropped 1 3/4, or 12.7%, to 12 after the company and

U.S. Surgical


terminated a marketing agreement.

Raymond James

cut Neoprobe to neutral from buy. U.S. Surgical inched down 1/16 to 29 5/8.

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Texas Instruments Incorporated Report

tacked on 2 5/8 to 141 after introducing a new, ultrafast silicon chip.


(KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report

Chairman and CEO Roberto Goizueta, suffering from lung cancer, returned to an Atlanta hospital after a throat infection developed complications. He remained in critical condition at the time this story was posted. Coke's stock slipped 3/8 to 61 5/16. In other medical news,

W.R. Grace

(GRA) - Get W R Grace & Co Report

Chairman, President and CEO Albert Costello was reportedly recovering well from a Saturday heart attack. Grace was down 1/8 to 73 3/4.



rose 3 11/16 to 53 7/8 after

Goldman Sachs

added it to the firm's U.S. recommended list.

HBO & Co.


moved up 1 to 42 13/16 after

Credit Suisse First Boston

named it the featured stock of the week.

Continental Airlines


ascended 1 3/8 to an all-time high of 44 1/16 after

Salomon Brothers

upped it to buy from hold.

CoreStates Financial


declined 1 1/4 to 72 9/16 after Credit Suisse First Boston cut it to hold from buy.


(DE) - Get Deere & Company Report

-- like which nothing runs -- advanced 1 5/16 to 56 15/16 after


upgraded it to buy from neutral.

Anchor Gaming


sloughed off 1 3/4 to 93 1/8 despite reporting first-quarter earnings of $1.23 per share, demolishing the seven-analyst forecast of 99 cents and the year-earlier 60 cents.

Eagle Hardware & Garden


rose 1 1/8 to 18 1/2 on an upgrade to strong buy from buy at

Dain Bosworth




surrendered 2 1/4 to 42 1/4 after

UBS Securities

lowered it on price to buy from strong buy.



slid 15/16 to 16 3/8 after

Interstate/Johnson Lane

downgraded it to long-term buy from strong buy. The firm trimmed its price target to 22 from 24.



improved 2 1/16 to 73 after

Deutsche Morgan Grenfell

placed the stock on its U.S. focus list.

Nu Skin Asia Pacific

(NUS) - Get Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. Class A Report

advanced 1 1/16 to 23 13/16 after PaineWebber began coverage at attractive.

Papa John's International

(PZZA) - Get Papa John's International, Inc. Report

gained 1 3/8 to 35 3/8 after Dain Bosworth initiated coverage at buy. The firm set a 12- to 18-month price target of 47.

Crown Cork & Seal

(CCK) - Get Crown Holdings, Inc. Report

fell 1/2 to 46 1/2 after Salomon Brothers cut it to hold from buy.

Robert Mondavi Winery


enjoyed a fruity but unpretentious rise of 1 3/8 to 55 7/8 after

Smith Barney

initiated coverage at outperform.

NS Group

(NS) - Get NuStar Energy L.P. Report

was up 3/4 to an all-time high of 40 after


started coverage at buy.



fell 13/16 to 83 1/2 after


downgraded it to perform in line from outperform.