Stocks End Moderately Higher Amid Bond Rally

The market managed to erase minor losses posted late in the session.
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Stocks closed modestly higher, while the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond rallied.

The long bond was up 1 4/32 to 92 6/32, yielding 5.805%.

The

Russell 2000

added 3.68, or 0.8%, to 446.13. The

S&P 500

advanced 10.89, or 0.8%, to 1344.21. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

gained 19.04, or 0.7%, to 2577.40.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 50.44, or 0.5%, to 10,887.39.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

tacked on 8.14, or 1.3%, to 647.50.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers beat decliners 1,729 to 1,262 on 772 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners beat losers 2,130 to 1,831 on 958 million shares.

On the NYSE, 60 issues set new 52-week lows while 38 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 83 issues set new highs while new lows totaled 26.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 17.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 1/16 to 135 1/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active with 65 million shares changing hands. It was down 4 1/4, or 9.7%, to 39 13/16, in the wake of

yesterday's earnings report.

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

3:01 p.m.: Stocks Mostly Lower in Narrow Range Trading

Heading into the final hour of trading, major market barometers were mostly lower, continuing to trade in a narrow range, now a day after the

Federal Open Market Committee's

move yesterday to a tightening bias.

"Nothing's pushing the market one way or another," said Scott Curtis, senior equity trader at

Brown Brothers Harriman

.

While the widely watched market averages weren't doing much in the movement department, the 30-year Treasury bond was soaring, and selected sectors were either soaring or getting pounded. The long bond was up 1 1/32 to 92 4/32, yielding 5.81%.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 14 to 10,823. The

S&P 500

was up fractionally at 1333. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 16 to 2542.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down fractionally at 639. The index is about 19% off its all-time closing high, reflecting the loss of frenzied enthusiasm that has marked this arena.

Sector-wise, among the prominent winners were utility and semiconductor stocks. The

Dow Jones Utility Average

was up 1%, while the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 2%.

Among the sectors notable on the downside were computer makers and airline stocks. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was down 2%, while the

American Stock Exchange Airline Index

was off 4%.

Market breadth was positive.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were leading decliners 1,596 to 1,317 on 590 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were leading losers 1,956 to 1,859 on 739 million shares.

On the NYSE, 50 issues had set new 52-week lows while 30 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 70 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 25.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 14 million shares changing hands. It was down 1/2 to 133 9/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 55 million shares changing hands. It was down 4 1/2, or 10%, to 39 7/16.

1:58 p.m.: Stocks Narrowly Mixed as Treasury Market Soars

While the 30-year Treasury bond was soaring this afternoon, stocks were for the most part grounded, with the major market averages narrowly mixed.

The long bond was up 29/32 to 91 31/32, yielding 5.82%.

Airline stocks tumbled sharply, dragging the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

down 2%. The

American Stock Exchange Airline Index

was off 4%.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 5 to 10,842. The

S&P 500

was up 2 to 1336. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 4 to 2554.

The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 445.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down fractionally at 639.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were leading decliners 1,619 to 1,239 on 493 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were leading losers 1,867 to 1,807 on 628 million shares.

On the NYSE, 45 issues had set new 52-week lows while 28 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 68 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 20.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 12 million shares changing hands. It was up 3/4 to 134 13/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 50 million shares changing hands. It was down 4 5/16, or 10%, to 39 3/4.

U.S. Bancorp to Buy Western Bancorp

This afternoon

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get Report

said it has agreed to buy

Western Bancorp

(WEBC)

in a transaction valued at $958 million.

Under terms of the deal, Western Bancorp shareholders will receive 1.2915 shares of U.S. Bancorp stock for each share of Western Bancorp stock.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp was down 3/4 to 33 5/8, while Western Bancorp was up 1 5/8 to 40 3/8.

Western Bancorp, based in Newport Beach, Calif., had $2.5 billion in assets as of March 31, 1999. Western Bancorp has 31 branches in southern California in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Western Bancorp owns Santa Monica Bank and Southern California Bank.

1:04 p.m.: Midday Musings: Worries About Tightening Fade, but So Do Market's Gains

11:53 a.m.: Russell Leads Modest Climb

Stocks continued to hold on to their gains late this morning as the

Russell 2000

outperformed the rest of the market's major gauges on the upside.

Meanwhile, the 30-year Treasury bond was up 29/32 to 91 31/32, yielding 5.82%.

The Russell was up 3, or 1%, to 445.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 27 to 10,864. The

S&P 500

was up 5 to 1338. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 3 to 2561.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 2 to 642.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,664 to 1,006 on 323 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 1,859 to 1,548 on 408 million shares.

On the NYSE, 29 issues had set new 52-week lows while 21 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 52 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 16.

On the Big Board,

Engelhard

(EC) - Get Report

was most active, with 8 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 1/8, or 6%, to 20 5/8. Today the company said its secondary offering of 28 million shares of its common stock was priced at $19.50, yesterday's closing market price.

Tech Focus

The

Nasdaq 100

was up fractionally, while the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 1%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was down 2%.

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, a box maker index component, was getting pounded after matching earnings estimates when it reported quarterly results yesterday after the close. It was down 4 5/16, or 10% to 39 3/4. It was most active on the Nasdaq, with 34 million shares changing hands.

TheStreet.com

wrote about Dell's earnings in a story

last night.

The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 1%.

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, a component of the semiconductor index, yesterday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, beating the 25-analyst view of 27 cents but below the year-ago 37 cents.

TheStreet.com

wrote about the results in a story

last night. Applied Materials was up 2 1/4 to 65 3/8.

Elsewhere on the earnings front, today

Analog Devices

(ADI) - Get Report

posted fiscal second-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, excluding a charge, beating the 17-analyst forecast and up from the year-ago 23 cents. It was up 1 1/16 to 40 13/16.

10:58 a.m.: Stocks Cling to Modest Gains

The major market averages were higher at midmorning while

Healtheon

(HLTH)

confirmed it is in talks with privately held

WebMD

regarding a proposed merger.

Healtheon, however, added that no pact has been reached and that there "can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached or a transaction consummated."

Today,

The Wall Street Journal

reported that the companies are expected to announce a stock-swap merger valued at about $5.5 billion.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 42 to 10,879. The

S&P 500

was up 8 to 1341. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 3 to 2561. The

Russell 2000

was up 3 to 445.

Louis Todd, head of equities trading at

J.C. Bradford

, said the market's modest gains so far today is probably just a continuation of the firmness the market experienced near the close yesterday. Although stocks finished the session lower yesterday, they closed well off their worst levels of the day.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 2 to 641.

Among Internet issues,

America Online

(AOL)

was slightly higher, up 3 to 137 1/16. AOL said today that this summer it will launch a major new online shopping initiative called Shop@AOL. The company also said AOL shoppers spent a record $1.8 billion in the March 1999 quarter. AOL said it brought more than 1.7 million first-time buyers to online merchants in the March quarter.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 12/32 to 91 15/32, yielding 5.86%.

"Take encouragement if you must from the end-of-day rally as the DJIA finished nicely off of its lows, but don't get too carried away with the move," wrote John Roque, vice president at

Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder

in a research note sent out this morning before the open. "It's much more important to remember that we are in the midst of a corrective phase that will not feel complete until oversold readings are recorded across the board in the major averages and complacency evaporates."

Roque said in the note that long-term momentum is still bullish; however, near-term momentum is "punk."

Market breadth was positive.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,648 to 908 on 229 million shares. On the Nasdaq, winners were beating losers 1,766 to 1,427 on 295 million shares.

On the NYSE, 22 issues had set new 52-week lows while 17 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 45 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 13.

On the Big Board,

Engelhard

(EC) - Get Report

, an environmental technology and chemical company, was most active, with 7 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 1/16, or 5%, to 20 9/16. Today the company said its secondary offering of 28 million shares of its common stock has been priced at $19.50, yesterday's closing market price.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 29 million shares changing hands. It was down 4 3/8, or 10%, to 39 11/16.

9:54 a.m.: Stocks Open Modestly Higher

Stocks were higher in the early going while the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond rose modestly.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 26 to 10,863. The

S&P 500

was up 7 to 1340. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 14 to 2573. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 445.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 8 to 647.

The long bond was up 11/32 to 91 14/32, yielding 5.86%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Telecom Italia (TI) , up 4 5/8 to 104 3/4

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Lycos (LCOS) , up 7 13/16 to 120 3/4

: Lycos after the close set a 2-for-1 stock split and reported a narrower-than-expected loss for its third quarter. The company reported a loss of 2 cents a share before goodwill amortization, a penny narrower than the 19-analyst forecast and narrower than the year-ago loss of 11 cents. Merrill Lynch upgraded Lycos to long-term buy from long-term accumulate. It kept Lycos at a near-term accumulate.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Gateway (GTW) , down 1 13/16 to 65

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Redback Networks (RBAK) , down 6 3/8 to 77 3/4

: Yesterday the company made its trading debut, jumping 45 to close at 68. Its 2.5 million-share IPO was priced Monday at $23 a share.