Stocks Remain Higher After ECB Rate Cut

Treasuries are also rallying after the bigger-than-expected move.
Author:
Publish date:

The

European Central Bank's

heftier-than-expected interest rate slicing sent stocks and Treasuries higher this afternoon.

The 30-year Treasury bond jumped 31/32 to 97 8/32, yielding 5.44%. The ECB cut its main refinancing rate to 2.5% from 3%.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 70 to 10,155. Powering the Dow was

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

and

Chevron

(CHV)

. American Express rose 2 3/4 to 129 3/16, while Chevron advanced 3 3/16 to 93 1/8.

The

S&P 500

was up 11 to 1338. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 16 to 2561. The

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 398.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 13 to 713.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 5 to 129.

Bank and brokerage stocks continued to sport sizable gains. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index

was up 2%. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

was up 3%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,494 to 1,369 on 548 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were beating winners 1,920 to 1,812 on 749 million shares.

On the NYSE, 95 issues had set new 52-week lows while 73 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 97 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 76.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 23 million shares changing hands. It was flat at 158.

On the Nasdaq,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was most active, with 26 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 13/16, or 8%, to 23 1/4. The database software company and

MapInfo

(MAPS)

set a pact to combine products and services for Internet business applications, which are designed to deliver location-based analysis for business intelligence, data warehousing and e-commerce. MapInfo was up 1/2 to 15.

Sector Focus: Retailers

The stocks of retailers were solidly in the green this afternoon after posting good same-store sales overall for March. The

S&P Retail Index

was up 1.8%.

The world's biggest retailer,

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, said March same-store sales surged 11.3%. The stock jumped 2 5/8 to 100 1/8. It earlier hit a 52-week intraday high when it peaked at 100 7/8.

Kmart's

(KM)

March same-store sales rose 8.1%. Kmart was up 3/16 to 16 7/16.

Sears'

(S) - Get Report

March same-store sales rose a slight 2.1%. Sears was down 1 3/16 to 44 13/16.

Limited

(LTD)

said that due to the better-than-expected performance at

Intimate Brands

(IBI)

, of which it owns 85%, the company expects to post earnings a penny above current Wall Street expectations. The First Call 19-analyst consensus estimate sees the company earning 9 cents a share in the first quarter. Limited was up 1 9/16 to 43, off a 52-week intraday high of 43 7/8, which it hit earlier in the session.

Minneapolis-based

Dayton Hudson

(DH)

said company-wide March same-store sales jumped 12.9% overall. Dayton Hudson's

Target

division posted an increase in same-store sales of 14.9%. Dayton Hudson was up 1 9/16 to 70 3/16.

1:06 p.m.: Midday Musings: European Rate Cut Sparks Rally in U.S. Stocks, Bonds

12:04 p.m.: Stocks, Buoyed by Financial Sector, Remain Mostly in the Black

Financials were gaining again today, while newcomer

Value America

(VUSA)

was flying, up 170%.

The major market averages were mostly higher with the exception of the small-cap

Russell 2000

.

Value America, an Internet retailer, surged 39 1/8 to 62 1/8, its first day of trading. Its 5.5-million share IPO was priced yesterday at $23 a share by lead underwriter

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 21 to 10,107. The

S&P 500

was down 4 to 1331. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 4 to 2549. The Russell 2000 was down fractionally at 398.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 1 to 699.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 3 to 126.

Bank and brokerage stocks, which took off sharply yesterday, advanced again today. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index

was up 1%. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

was up 3%.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 8/32 to 96 17/32, yielding 5.49%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were narrowly beating advancers 1,378 to 1,321 on 354 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were beating winners 1,713 to 1,660 on 502 million shares.

On the NYSE, 68 issues had set new 52-week lows while 50 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 73 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 60.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 19 million shares changing hands. It was down 1 7/16 to 156 3/16.

Tech Focus

The

Nasdaq 100

and the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

were up fractionally. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was down fractionally.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

posted first-quarter operating earnings of 11 cents a share, topping the 25-analyst

First Call

estimate by 3 cents and the year-ago 2 cents. It was up 1/8 to 208 13/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was most active, with 21 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 13/16, or 8%, to 23 3/16. The database software company and

MapInfo

(MAPS)

set a pact to combine products and services for Internet business applications, which are designed to deliver location-based analysis for business intelligence, data warehousing and e-commerce. MapInfo was up 1/2 to 15 1/4.

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

was taking a hit this morning after warning yesterday that its first-quarter results will fall short of expectations because of competition and continuing production problems with its K6-2 chip. AMD said it sees quarterly revenue of $630 million. AMD was down 1, or 6%, to 15 3/16.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

is buying

Fibex Systems

and

Sentient Networks

, which are both privately held, for about $445 million.

Cisco was down 2 7/16 to 116 1/4.

11:10 a.m.: Stocks Climb Into Positive Territory After Early Loss

Early indications of a good session for stocks turned sour shortly after the open. However, stocks have rebounded from that modest weakness and major market barometers were little changed around midmorning.

A Wall Street-beating earnings report from

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and an in-line earnings report from

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

haven't been that much of a boost to the market.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 41 to 10,127.

Yahoo! was up 2 1/8 to 210 5/8. Of course, the stock -- in the wake of its recent announcement that it is acquiring

broadcast.com

(BCST)

and ahead of its earnings report -- has run up dramatically. After the close yesterday, the Internet portal titan posted first-quarter operating earnings of 11 cents a share, beating the 25-analyst

First Call

estimate by 3 cents and the year-ago 2 cents.

GE, meanwhile, before the open reported first-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share, in line with the 13-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 57 cents. It was down 1 7/16 to 113 1/16.

The

S&P 500

was up 5 to 1332. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 4 to 2548.

The small-cap

Russell 2000

was up fractionally at 398.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 2 to 698.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 3 to 126.

Peter Green, director of technical research at

Gruntal

, said the market overall lately has been encouraged in part by a better looking economic growth picture internationally.

He noted that people are also getting more comfortable with the Dow over 10,000.

But overall for the market, "it's still a mixed picture on balance," Green said.

Green sees the Nasdaq Comp declining over the next couple of days and his sense is that the index has topped out short term.

He suspects merger fever will get even bigger going forward because corporations seem to be viewing the international arena more constructively for their international operations going forward. Also, with stock prices high, corporations can use that currency to buy other assets.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 1/32 to 96 9/32, yielding 5.51%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,288 to 1,254 on 252 million shares. On the Nasdaq, winners were leading losers 1,557 to 1,555 on 361 million shares.

On the NYSE, 56 issues had set new 52-week lows while 40 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 57 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 55.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 17 million shares changing hands. It was down 1/2 to 157 1/2.

On the Nasdaq,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was most active, with 16 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 5/8, or 8%, to 23 1/8.

10:02 a.m.: Stocks Open in the Red

Major market barometers were mostly softer in the wake of a Wall Street-beating earnings report from

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

after the close yesterday and in-line results from

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

before the open.

Yahoo! was down 7 3/8 to 199. Meanwhile, GE posted first-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share, in line with the

First Call

13-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 57 cents. It was down 1 1/2 to 113.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 21 to 10,064. The

S&P 500

was down 5 to 1322. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 28 to 2516. The

Russell 2000

was down fractionally at 397.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 15 to 685.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down 2 to 122.

The 30-year bond was down 8/32 to 96 3/32, yielding 5.52%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) , up 3 to 81

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Yahoo! (YHOO) , up 8 9/16 to 217

: The Internet portal company posted first-quarter operating earnings of 11 cents a share, topping the 25-analyst First Call estimate by 3 cents and the year-ago 2 cents.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Royal Dutch (RD) , down 1 5/8 to 51 3/4

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

HNC Software (HNCS) , down 12 1/32 to 14 3/4

: The company said it expects first-quarter earnings to fall short of Wall Street expectations. HNC said it expects to post earnings of between 15 and 17 cents a share, below the current First Call eight-analyst consensus estimate of 22 cents.

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded HNC to buy from strong buy.