Tech Rally Continues to Boost Nasdaq

The Dow is hovering near the 10,000 level.
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The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was trading in the neighborhood of 10,000, while a lust for technology stocks gripped the market, sending the

Nasdaq Composite Index

up 3%.

The Dow was up 168 to 9990. The Nasdaq Comp was up 61 to 2480.

Dick Stein, chief technical analyst at

Noble Financial Group

, said a confluence of positives are hitting the market, and he said the Dow "will close above 10,000" this week.

Among some of the positives: window-dressing ahead of the end of the quarter by money managers and new month money flows into the market.

"I'm a scared bull, but a bull I am," said Stein.

Meanwhile, the

S&P 500

was up 24 to 1306. The

Russell 2000

, as it usually does, lagged the other market barometers, but was still posting a solid advance. The Russell 2000 was up 6 to 400.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 25 to 654.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 113.

News that

BP Amoco

(BPA)

is in merger talks with

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

helped lift the stocks of oil companies on speculation of further consolidation in the oil patch. According to reports, BP Amoco would buy Arco for $25 billion in stock.

Meanwhile,

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

is buying

Platinum Technology International

(PLAT) - Get Report

for roughly $3.5 billion in cash. Computer Associates was up 3 1/4 to 37 3/16. Platinum Technology was up 14 13/16, or 151%, to 24 5/8, and was most active on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, with 36 million shares changing hands.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 20/32 to 94 13/32, yielding 5.64%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,822 to 1,130 on 568 million shares. On the Nasdaq, winners were beating losers 2,130 to 1,684 on 660 million shares.

On the NYSE, 68 issues had set new 52-week lows while 39 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 67 stocks had set new lows while 66 touched new highs.

Most active on the Big Board was

America Online

(AOL)

, with 15 million shares changing hands. It was up 7 9/16, or 6%, to 133 1/4.

2:06 p.m.: Dow Remains Just Below 10,000 Level

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was sharply higher this afternoon, but off its intraday peak of 9989.57.

The Dow was up 155 to 9977. The

S&P 500

was up 22 to 1305. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 54 to 2473. The

Russell 2000

was up 5 to 399.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 25 to 655.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 112.

Merger news and word of potential deals in part helped lift the market today.

News that

BP Amoco

(BPA)

is in merger talks with

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

helped lift the stocks of oil companies on speculation of further consolidation in the oil patch. More on the BP Amoco and Arco situation below.

Elsewhere,

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

is buying

Platinum Technology International

(PLAT) - Get Report

for roughly $3.5 billion in cash. Computer Associates was up 1/16x to 34. Platinum Technology was up 15 3/16, or 155%, to 25 1/16, and was most active on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, with 32 million shares changing hands.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 27/32 to 94 6/32, yielding 5.66%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,801 to 1,094 on 481 million shares. On the Nasdaq, winners were beating losers 2,094 to 1,644 on 560 million shares.

On the NYSE, 64 issues had set new 52-week lows while 38 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 62 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 60.

On the Big Board,

Unicom

(UCM)

was most active with 12 million shares changing hands. Unicom was up 1 to 38 5/16.

Sector Focus: Oil

According to published reports, BP Amoco, the third-largest oil company in the world, will buy Arco in a stock deal valued at about $25 billion.

BP Amoco was up 3 1/8 to 103 9/16, while Arco has surged 7 1/4, or 11%, to 72 5/8.

The talks between BP Amoco and Arco comes on the heels of BP's acquisition of Amoco only a few months ago and amid the pending merger between

Exxon

(XON) - Get Report

and

Mobil

(MOB)

.

Exxon was up 1 5/8 to 73 3/16, while Mobil rose 2 to 91.

The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was up 4%.

Chevron

(CHV)

was up 3 3/16 at it 52-week intraday high of 90.

Philips Petroleum

(P)

was up 2 9/16, or 6%, to 48 3/16.

12:50 p.m.: Midday Musings: Time to Talk 10,000: Merger Buzz Spurs Big Rally

11:54 a.m.: Stocks Continue to Climb as Tech Sector Rallies

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up sharply late this morning, as the market's major averages all were enjoying sizable gains, led on the upside by the tech sector.

The Dow was up 158 to 9980, just off its session high of 9989.57.

The

S&P 500

was up 24 to 1307. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 49 to 2469. The

Russell 2000

was up 5 to 399.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 22 to 652. The biggest gainer in the index was

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

, which jumped 10 9/16, or 8%, to 149 3/4 on news it plans to launch an online auction service.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 112.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 22/32 to 94 10/32, yielding 5.65%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,835 to 918 on 313 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 2,003 to 1,432 on 365 million shares.

On the NYSE, 43 issues had set new 52-week lows while 30 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 51 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 45.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 8 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 to 129 11/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active, with 19 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 9/16 to 90 11/16 ahead of tomorrow's scheduled antitrust settlement talks with the

Justice Department

and a host of state attorneys general.

Tech Focus

The

Nasdaq 100

was up 2%, while the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 3%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 3%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 2%.

In what

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

said is the largest transaction in the software industry in history, the company announced it is buying

Platinum Technology International

(PLAT) - Get Report

for roughly $3.5 billion in cash. Computer Associates said it will pay $29.95 a share in cash for Platinum, a huge premium over Platinum's closing price on Friday of 9 7/8.

Computer Associates is funding the acquisition via a $4.5 billion credit facility underwritten entirely by

Credit Suisse First Boston

, which will replace its existing $2.6 billion lines of credit.

Computer Associates was down 1 1/8 to 32 13/16. Platinum was up 14 11/16, or 150%, to 24 9/16.

10:58 a.m.: Tech Stocks Push Major Indices Higher

Technology stocks were leading the market higher this morning as oil and oil service stocks were flying, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was threatening to pierce 10,000 again.

Meanwhile,

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

said it is buying

Platinum Technology International

(PLAT) - Get Report

in a deal valued at $3.5 billion. Computer Associates was down 1 13/16 to 32 1/8. On Friday, Platinum Technology closed at 9 7/8. It was last up 15 1/16 to 24 15/16.

The Dow was up 134 to 9557.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

was the biggest gainer in the Dow, up 4 11/16 to 177 1/16.

"It just seems that they're trying for 10,000 here," said Jay Suskind, head of institutional trading at

Ryan Beck

. He added that he was surprised at the strength of the market early on considering the situation in the Balkans.

Suskind said he didn't see anything news-wise to warrant a 100-point move today. "I'm really surprised that it's up this strong, but then again, the market is open until 4 o'clock," Suskind said.

The

S&P 500

was up 22 to 1304, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 47 to 2466. The small-cap

Russell 2000

up 5 to 399.

Oil stocks were bolstered over the possibility of

BP Amoco

(BPA)

buying

Arco

(ARC) - Get Report

. BP Amoco and Arco today confirmed they're in talks about a "possible combination transaction." According to published reports, BP Amoco, the third-largest oil company in the world, will buy Arco in a stock deal valued at about $25 billion.

BP Amoco was up 3 5/8 to 104 1/16, while Arco jumped 6 1/2, or 10%, to 71 15/16.

The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was up 4%.

Oil service stocks got a lift thanks in part to a Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgrade of

Baker Hughes

(BHI)

and

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

to strong buy from outperform. Baker Hughes was up 1 to 24 13/16, while Halliburton was up 2 1/2 to 40 5/8.

The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

was up 5%.

In Netland,

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 21 to 650.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 113.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

surged on news it is going into the online auction business. It was up 10 1/2, or 8%, to 149 5/8. The news, however, hit online auctioneer

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

.

eBay and

Warner Bros. Online

, a unit of

Time Warner

(TWX)

, set a three-year strategic alliance under which eBay will be integrated throughout the Warner Bros. Online entertainment sites. eBay was down 6 7/8 to 148, while Time Warner was up 1 3/16 to 70.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 14/32 to 94 19/32, yielding 5.63%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,842 to 772 on 209 million shares. On the Nasdaq, winners were leading losers 1,931 to 1,261 on 243 million shares.

On the NYSE, 29 issues had set new 52-week lows while 24 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 45 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 39.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 6 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 3/16 to 129 13/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was most active, with 15 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 3/8 to 90 1/2 ahead of tomorrow's scheduled antitrust settlement talks with the

Justice Department

and a host of state attorneys general.

9:57 a.m.: Stocks Climb at Open

Stocks opened higher while

BP Amoco

(BPA)

and

Arco

(ARC) - Get Report

confirmed they're in talks about a "possible combination transaction."

According to published reports, BP Amoco, the third-largest oil company in the world, will buy Arco in a stock deal valued at about $25 billion.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 22 to 2441. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 73 to 9495. The

S&P 500

was up 12 to 1295. The

Russell 2000

was up 3 to 396.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 17 to 646.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 113.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 18/32 to 94 15/32, yielding 5.64%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Vodafone (VOD) - Get Report, up 3 1/16 to 175 1/4

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, up 10 15/16 to 150

: The online book, video and music retailer said it plans to launch an online auction service.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Becton Dickinson (BDX) - Get Report, down 3/4 to 41 1/4

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

eBay (EBAY) - Get Report, down 6 1/4 to 148 1/4

: The online auctioneer fell in response to the Amazon.com plans.