You name it. They bought it.
Stock prices zoomed ahead in most sectors, pushing the major indexes higher with trading curbs in effect by early afternoon.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
set a record, climbing 103.52 to 6961.63. The broader
climbed into record territory as well, rising 13.18 to 802.77. The
Nasdaq Composite Index
, apparently healed from the technology massacre of recent days, surged 27.45 to 1358.96. And the
index, the small-cap measure, jumped 2.65 to 365.40.
Meanwhile the quiescent bond market shrugged off the government's auction of 10-year notes. The yield on the 30-year, benchmark bond held steady at 6.71%. The dollar climbed.
"It's been a lousy bond auction," says Matthew Ruane, vice president of trading for
Gerard Klauer Mattison
in New York. "I expect the 30-year auction (on Thursday) to be lousy, too."
Ruane says with the lack of inflation keeping bond yields low, "which would you rather chase: stocks or bonds?"
Stocks were the answer for many investors Wednesday, when winners more than doubled losers, with 567 million shares changing hands on the
New York Stock Exchange.
Technology, oil and natural gas, auto makers and financial companies all rose on the benevolent buying tide.
Still, Ruane is skeptical. "I'm not too bullish," he says. At some point, "I expect at least a 10% pullback."
Ruane is staying away from technology. "The price-to-earnings ratios are out of whack," he says.
But as Ruane scoffed, others were buying.
led the group as the most heavily traded Nasdaq stock, gaining 6 7/8 to 52 1/8.
jumped 4 7/8 to 156 3/4;
rose 4 to 64 5/8;
surged 3 7/8 to 64 3/8;
rose 2 3/8 to 40; and
gained 1 3/4 to 35 3/8. A
story Tuesday in
said the networking sector was near a bottom.
Even Tuesday's dog
left the doghouse -- barely. It rose 1/4 to 63 3/4.
held steady, down 1/4 to 145, in the face of analysts' earnings reductions.
Of the Big Three U.S. auto makers,
got the largest pop, climbing 1 1/8 to 57 7/8;
rose 1/2 to 32 3/4; and
edged up 3/4 to 34 1/2.
In energy, the biggest gainers included:
, up 2 7/8 to 35 1/4;
, up 2 1/4 to 23 1/2; and
, up 7/8 to 42 1/4. Perhaps they got a lift from the
energy conference held this week.
bounced 4 3/8 to 20 3/4 after
upgraded the sneaker maker to speculative buy from speculative outperform. And a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge gave the green light for Converse to liquidate subsidiary
, mired in Chapter 11. The judge also granted a permanent injunction that bars Apex creditors from suing Converse.
climbed 1 5/8 to 13 7/8 after it reported Tuesday that Jerry Levin would replace Michael Hammes as chairman and chief executive. The camping gear maker rose despite announcing it would take a net loss in its fourth quarter because of restructuring charges. Analysts were expecting a loss of 10 cents per share, according to
, a financial data firm.
Major financial institutions enjoyed favor.
raced ahead 7 1/8 to 312;
gained 1 3/4 to 119 1/2; and
rose 1 7/8 to 115 1/4.
Birman Managed Care
was prescient in arranging its IPO for such a bullish day. Shares were priced at 5, and finished up 2 1/4 to 7 1/2.
Not many losers:
slid 1/4 to 51 3/8 after PaineWebber cut its rating to neutral from attractive, citing slowed growth.
lost 3/8 to 7 1/8 after reporting 9 cents a share for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with 12 cents a year ago. No analyst estimates were available.
By Suzanne Kapner