would be the final word on today's stock market action if
had anything to do with it.
While technology cried no rivers for the prince that
Robert "Just call me Bob" Rubin
to be and the
Nasdaq Composite Index
enjoyed its fourth straight gain, blue-chips continued to play turtle to tech's hare. But not by much. All in all, the final tallies for the major market indices describe more of a fairy-tale day than of a day that the favored
Even the lately hurting bond market had a nice day. On word of today's sale of $12 billion of 10-year notes and ahead of tomorrow's economic data, the price of the 30-year Treasury lifted 3/32 to 91 28/32, dropping its yield to 5.83%.
bested its April 27 high of 1362.80 and rose 8.39 to an all-time high of 1364.00. The smallish-cap
, meanwhile, picked up 2.45 to 449.26.
The White House this morning confirmed months-old rumors that Rubin will step down with about a year left in
term. The resignation is expected to become official around July 4. Shortly before the closing bell, the president, Rubin and his current deputy and designated successor,
, held a press conference in the Rose Garden.
"I think it's time for me to go home to New York to do whatever I'm going to do next," Rubin said at the conference. It's been widely known that Rubin's wife dislikes Washington and that Rubin has been itching to return to "private life" for some time. It's also been said among analytical types that Rubin was waiting for global economic conditions to improve, for the "revival," as these folks call it.
After falling as low as 10,812.81 on the Rubin resignation, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed down 25.78 to 11,000.37.
led the Dow's gainers for the second day in a row, with
not far behind. Although banks had a mixed reaction to the Rubin news (or no reaction at all), the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
Not falling neatly into place, several economically sensitive members of the gilded 30 failed to rejoice at the widely held idea that Rubin's resignation confirms recent talk that global economic conditions are improving.
all ended the session in the red. The
Morgan Stanley Cyclical
index fell 1.1%.
Large-cap tech bellwethers powered the Nasdaq up 39.86, or 1.55%, to 2606.54, not too far behind its April 26 closing record of 2652.05. The
jumped 41.83, or 1.9%, to 2217.68.
flew 6 7/8, or 6.2%, to 118 3/4 on last night's solid earnings,
rose 1 1/4 to 43 15/16 and
climbed 4 13/16, or 8%, to 65 1/8.
Despite losses in
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index picked up from yesterday's forward marching and rose 2.82 to 656.91.
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 834.2 million shares were exchanged while decliners led gainers 1,618 to 1,388. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
activity, 1.04 billion shares were exchanged while gainers led 2,199 to 1,790. New 52-week highs led new lows 69 to 27 on the Big Board and by 131 to 31 in over-the-counter trading.
Ricky Harrington, chief technical analyst at
in Charlotte, N.C., said he wasn't all that surprised by Rubin's resignation or the market's response.
"I think the market thinks Summers is capable of taking over and I'm not surprised that something like this didn't have a major influence
on the stock market for a long period of time," he said. "But we fell so rapidly and we came back so rapidly, we fell 200 points in three or four minutes -- that's what was surprising. The market shows a susceptibility to news; this is a fragile market. What if what got some fundamental news about interest rates?
"It's a real schizophrenic market out there," Harrington continued. "Because now we have IBM accounting for 30 Dow points and Cisco carrying up the Nasdaq and tech taking back their lead. I don't think these days we can draw too many conclusions from anything. We have a change in leadership almost daily -- tech one day, cyclicals another, then financials and secondaries. This is a volatile market in every sense -- price, volume, change of leadership."
The analyst said he sees a correction in the market's near future, especially with the traditionally slowing period of May to October upon us. He also said he's afraid people aren't prepared for such a turn of events.
"The larger picture is: I'm scared to death of this market," Harrington said. "I talk to people about this every week, retired people who say, 'I can finally afford to invest instead of save.' And they've got
magazine saying, 'Come aboard and do it!' But people are uninformed, they don't have any history -- only encouragement from the government and the industry.
"No one thinks about the downside. I think we're going to do more than 200 points in three minutes. We'll do 2,000-3,000 points in days. We could do more than a 5% to 10% correction. At some point over the next 60, 90, 120 days, we're going to see interest rates go up. But this is different than any market I've seen."
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
dipped 6.82 to 7003.81 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
tumbled 103.81, or 1.7%, to 5877.28.
Wednesday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
Motion sensor device maker
jumped 4 7/8, or 24.7%, to 24 11/16 after it agreed to be acquired by private investment firm
for about $200 million, or $25.50 a share.
jumped 8, or 15.4%, to 60 after acquisitive
agreed to buy it for about $4 billion in stock and cash, or just under $64 a share. Cox, which is also acquiring the cable operations of
, lost 1 15/16 to 86 1/16.
surged 8 9/16, or 8.7%, to 107 on the official word that the Web portal is no longer being acquired by
. Lycos was up 10 1/16, or 10.2%, to 108 1/2.
, the deal's third wheel, rose 3 7/16, or 10.6%, to 36 1/16 on the news. USA Networks got a more modest pop, rising 3 5/8, or 10.1%, to 39 7/16.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
shot up 6 7/8, or 6.2%, to 118 3/4 after it posted third-quarter earnings last night of 38 cents a share, 1 cent above the 29-analyst
consensus and up from the year-ago 30 cents. Cisco also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, its eighth split in nine years.
Shares of medical products firm
rose 3 11/16, or 22.7%, to 19 15/16 after the company said it expects second-quarter earnings from continuing operations to exceed analysts' expectations of 34 cents a share. Cooper is due to report on April 30.
rose 1 1/8, or 9.4%, to 13 7/8 after reporting second-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share, besting the three-analyst estimate of 47 cents and up from the previous year's 34 cents.
Federated Department Stores
added 3 5/16, or 6.5%, to 54 5/16 after the company reported first-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, 9 cents above the 17-analyst call and up from the year-ago 27 cents.
lost 7/16 to 17 1/8 after it posted its first-quarter numbers. The company earned 14 cents a share, in line with the 17-analyst forecast and up from last year's dime.
dropped 1 1/8 to 30 7/8 after posting first-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share, 4 cents above the five-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 10 cents.
Retail mortgage firm
shed 2 5/8, or 12.1%, to 19 after the company last night warned that its second-quarter earnings will be below its first quarter's 18 cents a share, and that it may not be able to meet analysts' expectations of $1.12 a share for the full 1999 fiscal year.
rose 3/8 to 36 1/8 after it posted first-quarter pro-forma earnings of 14 cents a share, topping analysts' expectations of a dime a share, and up from the year-ago 4 cents.
lost 1 1/4 to 27 5/8 after reporting first-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, well under the nine-analyst call for 15 cents and down from last year's 30 cents.
Offerings and stock actions
closed unchanged at 38 13/16 after it set plans to buy back 20 million shares of its stock. The company also gave CEO Thomas Reece the additional post of chairman, replacing Gary Roubos, who will stay on the board.
Cable TV system operator
filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
to raise more than $500 million in an IPO.
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
is the lead underwriter.
Data analysis equipment maker
set plans to buy back as many as 325,000 shares, or 10% of its outstanding stock. O.I. rose 5/16 to 4 3/4.
rose 3/8 to 28 3/4 after Chairman and CEO
said that, once the company's domestic tobacco operations are spun off, RJR shareholders will receive one share of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
for each RJR Nabisco share they own. The spinoff will be complete by June 15.
rose 1, or 5.4%, to 19 7/8 after
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
initiated coverage with a buy.
rose 1 9/16, or 8.4%, to 20 7/16 after
raised it to a strong buy from accumulate.
popped 2 13/16, or 13.6%, to 23 9/16 after
Salomon Smith Barney
raised it to buy from a hold.
sank 11/16, or 8.1%, to 3 15/16 after
downgraded it to hold from attractive.
jumped 6 5/8, or 6.0%, to 117 5/8 after
initiated coverage with a buy.
gained 7 5/16, or 20.0%, to 43 13/16 after Prudential started coverage with a strong buy.
rose 5 9/16, or 8.0%, to 75 3/8 after
initiated coverage on the stock, placing it on the firm's recommended list.
gained 2 3/4, or 7.53%, to 39 1/2 after
Credit Suisse First Boston
initiated coverage with a buy and set a 12-month price target of 40.
jumped 6 1/8, or 5.7%, to 114 1/8 after Prudential raised it to strong buy from accumulate.
added 7/8, or 7%, to close at 13 3/8 after Jefferies started coverage with a buy.
Total Renal Care
grew 1 1/8, or 7.8%, to 15 5/8 after DLJ upgraded it to top pick from buy.
shot up 4 3/16, or 19.9%, to 25 3/16 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
started coverage on the stock with a strong buy with a price target of 33.
expanded 4 5/16, or 15.1%, to 33 1/16 after CSFB started coverage at buy and set a price target of 36.
added 1 5/16, or 5.2%, to 27 after
initiated coverage at buy.
surged 2 1/2, or 20.6%, to 14 5/8 after Piper Jaffray raised it to strong buy from buy.
set plans to close at least 15 plants and cut about 7,000 jobs. The stock added 3/16 to 24 13/16 on the news.
Aptly named to cash in on the Web portal vogue,
is exploding after Cisco said it bought 3 million shares of the customer management and billing software maker for about $39 million. Portal Software was up 10, or 32%, to 41.
ADRs of Russian wireless telecom
dropped 3 3/16, or 13.5%, to 20 3/8 amid renewed fears of political stability in its home country.
the Russian fracas in a story today.