Skip to main content

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

S&P 500

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

Russell 2000

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

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

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.

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report

led the group as the most heavily traded Nasdaq stock, gaining 6 7/8 to 52 1/8.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report

jumped 4 7/8 to 156 3/4;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

rose 4 to 64 5/8;

Ascend Communications

(ASND) - Get Ascendis Pharma A/S Report

surged 3 7/8 to 64 3/8;

3Com

(COMS)

rose 2 3/8 to 40; and

Cascade Communications

(CSCC)

gained 1 3/4 to 35 3/8. A

story Tuesday in

The Street

said the networking sector was near a bottom.

Even Tuesday's dog

Motorola

(MOT)

left the doghouse -- barely. It rose 1/4 to 63 3/4.

IBM

(IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report

held steady, down 1/4 to 145, in the face of analysts' earnings reductions.

Of the Big Three U.S. auto makers,

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report

got the largest pop, climbing 1 1/8 to 57 7/8;

Ford

(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report

rose 1/2 to 32 3/4; and

Chrysler

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

edged up 3/4 to 34 1/2.

In energy, the biggest gainers included:

Barrett Resources

(BRR)

, up 2 7/8 to 35 1/4;

Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Chesapeake Energy Corporation Report

, up 2 1/4 to 23 1/2; and

Noble Affiliates

(NBL) - Get Noble Energy, Inc. Report

, up 7/8 to 42 1/4. Perhaps they got a lift from the

PaineWebber

energy conference held this week.

Winners:

Converse

(CVE) - Get Cenovus Energy Inc. Report

bounced 4 3/8 to 20 3/4 after

Smith Barney

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

Apex One

, mired in Chapter 11. The judge also granted a permanent injunction that bars Apex creditors from suing Converse.

Coleman Co.

(CLN)

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

Baseline

, a financial data firm.

Major financial institutions enjoyed favor.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report

raced ahead 7 1/8 to 312;

Citicorp

(CCI) - Get Crown Castle International Corp Report

gained 1 3/4 to 119 1/2; and

NationsBank

(NB)

rose 1 7/8 to 115 1/4.

Birman Managed Care

(BMAN)

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:

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. Report

slid 1/4 to 51 3/8 after PaineWebber cut its rating to neutral from attractive, citing slowed growth.

Chyron Corp.

(CHY) - Get Calamos Convertible & High Income Fund Report

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

skapner@thestreet.com