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Today's Market: Dow Struggles Under Weight of DuPont, Nasdaq Ends Solidly Higher

J.P. Morgan also hampered the Dow today after skyrocketing Wednesday on ever-present merger chatter.

Profit-takers broke on through to the blue-chips today, opening the door for tech stocks to rally. For the most part, sector rotation was to blame for most of the

Dow's losses, but an earnings warning from


(DD) - Get DuPont de Nemours, Inc. Report

did its part to hold down the index and leave investors skeptical of future corporate earnings.

At the closing bell, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

ended down 51.51, or 0.4%, to 11,259.13. Investors went cashing in gains on financial component

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report

after the shares flew yesterday on reports that the investment bank was in talks for a possible combination with

Deutsche Bank

. Meanwhile, an earnings warning from DuPont took second place for the biggest loss of the day. The chemical giant fell 11.7%, on news that its fiscal 2000 earnings would miss analyst expectations due to rising raw materials costs.

But, a snapback from the semiconductors put the tech stocks in rally mode, taking the

Nasdaq up 84.31 to 4097.65.

Vitesse Semiconductor


recovered 13.4%, after Wall Street downgrades on


(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation (INTC) Report


Micron Technologies

(MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) Report

made for two straight session losses for the group.


Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

rose 3.4%.

"More or less, the groups or sectors that led the market lower are doing the brunt of the rebounding," said Steve Goldman, market strategist at


. "The Nasdaq gained back a little less than 2/3 of what it lost in the previous session. You still have tremendous volatility associated with the Nasdaq, and it's still trying to weather losing close to 35% between March and April. It's vulnerable to air pockets along the way and I think that's what we're seeing."

Elsewhere, the broader

S&P 500 popped 10.16 to 1502.41, while the small-cap

Russell 2000

bounced 3.8 to 540.12.



fell 4.5% despite, somewhat optimistic comments from

Lehman Brothers

analyst Holly Becker on the Internet giant's near-term results. Becker said she is cautious on the stock's outlook due to the slowdown in advertising.

In a research note,

Merrill Lynch

Henry Blodget expressed his concern over advertiser's profit warning, but supported

America Online


, Yahoo! and



, calling the stocks leaders that will likely fall in line or beat analysts expectations. Internet Index

closed the session off 7.7 to 838.29.

Market Internals

Breadth was mixed on moderate volume.

TheStreet Recommends

New York Stock Exchange: 1,531 advancers, 1,268 decliners, 978 million shares. 135 new 52-week highs, 36 new lows.

Nasdaq Stock Market: 2,262 advancers, 1,731 decliners, 1.5 billion shares. 94 new highs, 39 new lows.

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Most Active Stocks

NYSE Most Actives

  • Associates First Capital (AFS) : 22.2 million shares.
  • Citigroup (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report: 21.2 million shares.
  • DuPont: 17.5 million shares.

Nasdaq Most Actives

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Sector Watch


American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

finished up slightly after yesterday's merger speculation had that sector ringing in new highs.


Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

skidded 1.6%, after OPEC said it will up output by 700,000 barrels a day when it meets in Vienna on Sunday. Crude oil prices edged off a little from a 10-year high. Yesterday, after crude oil futures striking $34 per barrel, the group received a cash infusion, as investor grew confident that oil companies would ramp up their capital spending.


American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was fractionally lower.

High-energy prices sent the

Dow Jones Utility Average

to yet another new all-time high level of 377.04.

Peco Energy

(PE) - Get Parsley Energy, Inc. Class A Report

moved up 1.7%, after

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

upgraded the stock to a top pick from a buy.

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Treasuries were lower today on little news, as the economic data drought continues.

The benchmark 10-year note was lately down 5/32 to 99 31/32, moving its yield to 5.3754%.

With no major economic reports slated before next Thursday's (

retail sales and

Producer Price Index) and Friday's (

Consumer Price Index and

industrial production, the Treasury market is biding its time, looking to energy prices and the corporate-bond offering calendar for guidance.

Oil yesterday hit a 10-year high, and the corporate-bond offering calendar is projected to be heavy for the month, competing with Treasuries for investor dollars.

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At today's close, the European indices were mixed with London's


down 5.5 to 6689, while in Paris the


was down 37.67 to 6834.46. Germany's

Xetra Dax

was bucking the trend, rising 40.32 to 7373.34.

Asian markets took a little trip lower overnight.

Buying in software and transportation shares countered selling on weak economic data in Japan, but the

Nikkei 225

index shed 99.41 to close at 16,300.46.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index dipped 173.28, or 1%, to close at 17,431.95, largely on investor disappointment with the share placement of

. The firm said it would place up to 60 million shares at HK$5.08 each with an option to see up to 15.8 million additional shares at the same price. With shares closing down HK$0.65, or 11.2%, at 5.15 ($0.66) today, investors wondered why the firm decided to place shares at such a discount.

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