A weaker-than-expected jobs report bestowed some preholiday cheer on the market. On a day when most of Wall Street would typically have already packed up the Range Rover and charted a course for the Hamptons, traders who hung around long enough for the news drove the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
up more than 200 points before throwing in the towel for the beach towel.
The Dow leapt 214, or 2%, to 11,057, following a
report that the economy added only 124,000 jobs in August, falling well below economists' expectation of 220,000 new jobs. The jobless rate edged down an expected 0.1 percentage point to 4.2%, while hourly wages gained just 0.2%, undercutting a forecasted 0.4% gain.
After a long, tiresome week, the market was definitely ready for a little Friday R&R to kick off the weekend. And if the rally was overly optimistic, hardly anyone was surprised. "I think it's overdone on the upside," said Jim Volk, co-director of institutional trading at
in Portland, Ore. "There is a lot of short-covering and positions are easing up for the weekend." Still, with the market down so sharply in the past week, "we were overdue for an oversold bounce."
Aside from a few sorry-looking losers with earnings warnings, namely
, down 4.9% and
, down 3.6%, stocks were living it up.
Technology stocks were the life of the party.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was up 26, or 4.5%, to 588, fueled by a yelping
, up 6.3%, and a leaping
, up 6.1%.
In another corner the tech-infused
Nasdaq Composite Index
was hosting its own beach-house bash, up 83, or 3%, to 2817.
popped open the champagne, up 6.6%, and was among Nasdaq's market leaders.
was up 34, or 2.5%, to 1353, while the
was up 6, or 1.5%, to 434.
Meanwhile, in the bond market, the benchmark 30-year Treasury was rallying 1 17/32 to 101 13/32, its yield at 6.02%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early
Of course there will be plenty of hangovers next week, but there was no time to think about that today. "I wouldn't get too excited about one number today in the big picture," said Jerry Hegarty, chief analyst at
Cape Market Research
. "This is a heavyweight battle evenly matched between bulls and bears, and it's based on what's going to happen with interest rates. The bulls have won this round; they certainly have not won the battle."
Indeed, most traders expect the fight to kick in again next week ahead of the
Oct. 5 meeting. Until then every piece of economic news that comes out will most likely be carefully scrutinized and quickly acted on as investors attempt to decipher if another interest-rate hike is in the cards.
"Stocks are really being held hostage" to interest rates, said Hegarty. "Any piece of good news is going to help, and vice versa." Hegarty said he expects by Wednesday all eyes will be focused on Friday's
Producer Price Index
release and selling will precede it.
New York Stock Exchange
advancers were trouncing decliners 2,136 to 650 on 437 million shares, while on the
Nasdaq Stock Market
leaders were beating laggards 2,301 to 1,211 on 582 million shares. New 52-week highs were topping new lows by a scant 35 to 28 on the Big Board, while new highs were leading new lows 105 to 32 on the Nasdaq.
Friday's Midday Watchlist
Earnings estimates from First Call; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was pumping up 22.26 to 555.68 after several brokerage firms made positive comments on the industry's stocks. Merrill Lynch maintained its near and long-term buy rating on
, highlighting its strong business. Shares of Novellus were jumping 3 7/8, or 6.5%, to 63 9/16.
, which is also rated a Merrill buy, was increasing 2 13/16 to 77 1/4.
was also boasting a gain, up 1 9/16, or 8.6%, to 19 3/4 after
Salomon Smith Barney
upgraded its shares to a buy from an outperform.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
was hopping 3 1/4 to 87 1/8 after it said it would provide digital packed radio system, or GPRS equipment to Norway's
for possible commercialization in the year 2000. GPRS allows for faster transmission in mobile-phone systems, which would make more proficient use of Internet functions and multimedia in future phone models.
have been discussing a possible deal involving their television stations,
The New York Times
reported. According to the
, the two media companies are considering ways to benefit from a recent federal judgment that permits a company to own two stations in the same market. Both companies own stations in Dallas, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Shares of Viacom were up 2 11/16, or 6.2%, to 44 13/16, while CBS was up 1 11/16 to 48 15/16.
was off 1/16 to 57 3/8 after it announced a $2.5 billion hostile takeover bid for
. Yesterday, federal securities regulators gave Phelps their approval to offer stock in the transaction. According to Phelps registration statements, the company would use the stock to purchase Asarco and Cyprus, ending their initial plans for a duo merger. Before launching the hostile bid, Phelps made two friendly offers which the copper producers rejected. Asarco and Cyprus said they would consider a higher offer of $3.3 billion, but Phelps, dismissing the proposal as unreasonable, opted to initiate the hostile takeover. Asarco shares were up 1/8 to 22 3/16, while Cyprus was down 3/16 to 17 5/8.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
was sliding 2 1/4 to 57 1/4 after it warned that third-quarter earnings would come in shy of Wall Street expectations. The company expects third-quarter earnings of between 34 cents and 35 cents before the financial impact of its European product withdrawal, which it estimates will be about 2 cents to 3 cents a share. For the third quarter, the 16-analyst consensus estimate calls for Coke to earn 36 cents a share. Coke said it's "comfortable" with the current range of analyst projections for earnings per share for full year 2000. The 15-analyst consensus estimate projects earnings of $1.56 a share for 2000.
was advancing 1 1/8 to 34 11/16 after it said that it anticipates a rise in third-quarter earnings per share despite lower operating income from its North American operations. The company said earnings will be helped by increased operating income at
. The 15-analyst estimate calls for third-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share. Earlier today,
raised its rating on its shares to outperform from a perform in line and set a price target of 44.
was sliding 1/4 to 19 7/8 after it sees fourth-quarter earnings, before charges, coming in at about 47 cents a share, which would be below the seven-analyst estimate of 52 cents.
American Mobile Satellite
was up 11/16 to 19 7/16 after
Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown
initiated coverage of with a buy rating.
was leaping 2 1/8 to 71 1/16 after Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown rolled out coverage of the stock with a buy rating.
American National Can
was unchanged at 15 7/8 after
initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of 21.
was up 3/16 to 43 3/4 after
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
sliced its rating to underperform from market perform.
was booming 3 13/16, or 8.7%, to 47 7/8 after Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown upgraded its shares to a strong buy from a buy.
was up 11/16 to 63 1/2 after
Credit Suisse First Boston
boosted its rating to a strong buy from a buy.
was up 1/8 to 5 3/4 after
upped its rating to an outperform from a hold, citing strong cash flow and Internet business growth.
was off 1 1/4, or 12.5%, to 8 11/16 after Credit Suisse First Boston downgraded its shares to a hold from buy.
was up 3/16 to 29 1/16 after
Banc of America Securities
sliced its fourth-quarter estimates to $1.70 from $1.81.
was up 7/16 to 38 3/16 after
Warburg Dillon Read
rolled out coverage on the stock with an initial buy rating and a price target of 45.
vice president of logistics, Jimmy Wright, has announced his retirement from the company,
The Wall Street Journal
said that Wright's decision to leave was amicable and the company would look outside the company to fill his position. Shares of Amazon were increasing 1 5/16 to 61 3/8.
Law enforcement officials said that hundreds of accounts at international banks took in about $10 billion in connection with a money laundering investigation at
Bank of New York
reported. According to the newspaper, the Fed conducted an inquiry in 1995 into possible illegal banking activities at Russian bank
, which is now a focus of the investigation. Bank of New York was advancing 1 13/16, or 5%, to 37 1/8.
was mounting 1 1/8 to 35 1/16 after it announced plans to restructure its software division and purchase all of its outstanding shares. The company is attempting to cut costs and excess production.
was lifting 9/16 to 22 15/16 after it said it reached a temporary agreement with Montana land environmental groups regarding its proposed land development. The deal calls for the company to pay for several environmental activities including the formation of a Watershed Protection Group.
was skidding 1 5/16 to 44 5/16 despite saying August same-store sales at
In the Inside Wall Street column in
this week, Gene Marcial writes that a U.S. telecom company is set to invest $25 million for a 10% stake in
Log On America
. Log On was jumping up 2 9/16, or 12.2%, to 23 1/2.
Elsewhere, the column says
has been soaring because of its switch to fiber channel-based technology and, more importantly, because it has acquired a 25% stake in privately held
, a provider of the
operating system. Brion Tanous, a senior analyst at
First Security Van Kasper
, is cited in the column as saying that based on
valuation -- Red Hat is the biggest distributor of the Linux operating system whose stock has skyrocketed since going public -- MTI's 25% stake in Caldera is worth 21 3/4 a share to MTI shareholders. Today MTI was popping up 2 5/16, or 9.69%, to 26 1/4, while Red Hat shares were up 1 7/8 to 81 3/4.
is mentioned as a takeover target with Joanne Wuensch, an analyst at
ING Baring Furman Selz
, quoted as saying "
appears the most likely to go after MicroTherapeutics." MicroTherapeutics shares were hopping 1 7/8, or 17.6% to 12 5/8, while Guidant was increasing 1/16 to 60 7/16.