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Before the opening of trading today,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

analyst Mary Meeker talked up


(MSFT) - Get Free Report

and former

Federal Reserve

Governor Wayne Angell (now chief economist at

Bear Stearns

) mused about


12,000. Both helped the market get off to a very modest upward bias this morning, with technology stocks leading the way.

But if Meeker and Angell are heavyweights, they are

Jerry Quarry

(R.I.P.) to Fed chairman

Alan Greenspan's Muhammad Ali

. They are

Michael Spinks

to Greenspan's

Mike Tyson

(when he was terrifying as a boxer, not as a person).

Randall "Tex" Cobb

to Alan G's

Larry Holmes

. You get the picture.

When Greenspan's


testimony hit the Fed's web site at 10:00 a.m. EST (before the actual speech began), the bond market got flattened and the tenuous rally in stocks went the way of

Gerry Cooney

(down, that is). Lately, stocks were back on their feet, but a little wobbly.

"After eight years of economic expansion, the economy appears stretched in a number of dimensions, implying considerable upside and downside risks to the economic outlook," Greenspan said in the most glaring sentence of the testimony. "Recent strong growth in spending cannot continue without a pickup in inflation unless labor productivity growth increases significantly further."

The price of the 30-year Treasury bond, virtually unchanged ahead of the testimony, quickly dropped to a near one-point loss. Lately, the price was down 27/32 to 97 20/32, its yield rising to 5.41%.

Later in his introductory remarks, Greenspan said: "Labor markets remain exceptionally tight and the economy evidently retains a great deal of underlying momentum despite the global economic problems and the still-visible remnants of the earlier financial turmoil in the United States. At the same time, no evidence of any upturn in inflation has, as yet, surfaced."

Greenspan also said: "Equity prices are high enough to raise questions as to whether shares are overvalued." But, overall, the testimony seems to indicate the Fed remains (as always) vigilant against the onset of inflation, but does not see any such dangers at present. That helped take some of the starch out of the initial knee-jerk by traders.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a high of 9568.94 in the early going as it tried to push

yesterday's blockbuster advance further. Shortly after 10:00 a.m. EST, the Dow was as low as 9473.24 (or about 95 points off its high). The index has since bounced and lately was up 33 at 9585.


Nasdsaq Composite Index

raced to as high as 2350.69 in its initial upswing, then cooled its jets, but remained in positive territory throughout. Lately, the index had regained its footing and was up 31 to 2374.

In addition to Microsoft, the Nasdaq has been aided by Internet titans such as

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. Internet Sector

index was lately up 21 to 512 while E-Commerce Index

was higher by 1 to 99.

Broader market proxies were modestly higher as investors digested Greenspan's comments. The

S&P 500

, once as low as 1263.35, was lately up 5 to 1278, while the

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 399.


New York Stock Exchange

trading, 241 million shares have traded while declining stocks lead advancers 1,333 to 1,217. In

Nasdaq Stock Market

activity, 301 million shares have traded while losers lead 1,584 to 1,548.

9:54 a.m.: Tech Sector Jumps at Open

The tech sector was enjoying solid gains early on, led by Internet stocks ahead of

Federal Reserve


Alan Greenspan's



testimony on the state of the economy before the

Senate Banking Committee

, which is slated to begin at 10 a.m. EST.

The chairman will also testify tomorrow before the

House Banking Committee



Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 12 to 2354. The

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 399. Internet Sector

was up 15 to 506. E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 99.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 15 to 9537. The

S&P 500

was down 2 to 1270.

The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was down 12/32 to 98 3/32, yielding 5.38%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Xerox (XRX) - Get Free Report, up 2 3/8 to 123


Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

eBay (EBAY) - Get Free Report, up 5 1/8 to 283 7/8


Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Telebras (TBH) , down 1 11/16 to 67 1/2


Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Nordstrom undefined, down 2 3/4 to 41 1/8

: The company posted a 5.4% drop in fourth-quarter same-store sales and an in-line earnings report yesterday. The retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, matching the 20-analyst

First Call

estimate and topping the year-ago 38 cents.