Like the games of the 27th Olympiad, the stock market boosted players' adrenaline today. And similar to the most exciting events in Sydney, the trading day ended with a round of comeback performances.
Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was down and out at the midday mark and the
Nasdaq Composite Index both hustled to close the day well off their session lows.
Sinking over 200 points this afternoon, the Dow started swimming late in the day -- even if it was an underwater stroke -- to end the session down 101.37, or 0.94%, to 10,687.92. The Nasdaq, which had fallen sharply earlier in the day, landed on its feet ending up 31.80, or 0.82% higher, to 3897.44.
S&P 500 shed 8.56, or 0.59%, to 1451.34, while the
Russell 2000 lost 1.88, or 0.36%, to 521.43.
Market themes -- which include high oil prices, a weak euro and a spate of profit warnings -- have discouraged market supporters from buying all week long. But in the last hour of trading today, investors stopped selling and started stepping up to the plate.
Why? Traders offer a couple of views for this afternoon's rally.
The market was in a "severe oversold condition earlier this afternoon", says Jon Olesky, head of block trading at
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
. "Once the sell side felt completed late in the day, the buy side to came back."
According to Mark Donohoe, managing director of institutional equity trading at
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffrey
, a trading bounce triggered today's buying. "We're still stuck in a trading range," says Donohoe, "and until this market sets a trend, it will be difficult to operate."
But Donohoe noted that "people have begun to speculate that the price of oil will fall." And that may have something to do with this afternoon's rally. At 2 p.m. this afternoon, U.S. Treasury Sec. Lawrence Summers stepped up and threw the market a life preserver with comments on global currency and energy markets.
"We are obviously watching developments in the oil market very, very closely," Summers told reporters this afternoon. "I expect that oil will be among the topics that will be discussed" at this weekend's
The price of oil, which hit a decade high today, ended the day at $36.70 off today's 37.80 high. The
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
fell 1.2% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
slipped 0.9%. Oil service company
shed 1.7%, while
Impacted by higher oil prices, however, the transport sector traveled on negative terrain all day. The
Dow Jones Transportation Average
closed down 0.5%. This morning, component
dropped 5.74% to $23.63 after warning last night it sees lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings because of lower operating profits for its air freight unit.
was one of the Dow's few components to be on the upside all day. News that the company raised its fiscal 2000 free-cash flow estimate to more than $4 billion sent its stock to close up $2.31, or 4.1%, to $59.06.
Earnings warnings, however, weighed down communications stocks today. Long-distance carrier
said it expects third-quarter earnings of 45 cents to 47 cents a share, lower than the
First Call/Thomson Financial
consensus for 49 cents per share. As a result, its stock fell 5.1% to $26.81.
But, today's most impressive gains were made in the technology arena, with technology stocks
all making positive strides.
Down 19.21 points earlier today,
TheStreet.com Internet Sector Index
closed behind only 2.37 points. The index's stock to net the biggest win today was
, which set a revenue goal of $3 billion in 2005 today. The online auction company soared $10.88, or 16.6%, to a $76.56 close.
Breadth was negative on heavy volume.
New York Stock Exchange: 1,144 advancers, 1,651 decliners, 1.106 billion shares. 47 new 52-week highs, 130 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market: 1,653 advancers, 2,360 decliners, 1.77 billion shares. 76 new highs, 152 new lows.
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Most Active Stocks
NYSE Most Actives
- Sprint PCS (PCS) : 33.2 million shares.
AT&T (T) - Get Report: 25.6 million shares.
Lucent (LU) : 20.5 million shares.
Nasdaq Most Actives
- Intel (INTC) - Get Report: 68.6 million shares.
Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report: 61.2 million shares.
Dell (DELL) - Get Report: 44.3 million shares.
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Dow Jones Utility Index
posted losses all the way until the close today, ending down 2.23%.
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
boosted 33.5 points, or 2.69%, to 1278.2.
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
, which had been hopping amid merger mania, was lower 0.66% today.
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Bond prices are falling as oil has resumed its record-setting climb. Continuing the recent trend, long-term yields are rising more than short-term ones, indicating that bond investors are worried about faster inflation as a result of rising energy prices.
With oil trading over $37.50 a barrel for the first time in 10 years, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down 3/32 to 98 27/32, lifting its yield to 5.905%.
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European markets were in bad shape at the end of the day.
ended down 123.60 to 6279.9, a 1.9% decline.
Across the channel, the
in Paris ended down 124.52 to 6405.43 and the
in Frankfurt was down 118.09 to 6819.65.
The euro was still losing ground, down $0.8472.
Asian markets traded higher overnight.
A late-day rally in selected technology shares helped nudge key Japanese indices a hair higher Tuesday. But the buying continued to be countered by selling from institutional investors that shed blue-chips ahead of book closings for the fiscal first half.
index rose 63.03 to close at 16,124.19.
index rose 117.04 to close at 15,677.20, reversing the ugly 4% drop recorded yesterday. A bout of short-covering in the futures market, along with property shares rallying helped sentiment today.
rose HK$2.50, or 2.7%, to 94.25 ($12.09), while
Sun Hung Kai Properties
climbed 2.25, or 3.5%, to 66.75.
index declined for the ninth straight session, closing down 6.39, or 1.1%, at 571.17. Investors are still fleeing the market on worries over slowing corporate restructuring. Taiwan's
index also fell 175.24, or 2.5%, to end at 6734.90.
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