Wednesday: Dow Pushes Past 8K; Kodak's Picture Looks Negative

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By John J. Edwards III
Staff Reporter

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

has surpassed 8000 this midday despite the presence of a dour party-pooper in its midst:

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

.

Kodak reported second-quarter earnings of $1.12 per share, far short of the 11-analyst

First Call

consensus estimate of $1.39 and the year-ago $1.30. Wall Street has shown no patience with the photography-products giant, slamming its shares down 8 7/8, or 11.5%, to a 1 1/2-year low of 68 before noon. The company blamed the strong dollar, price pressures, big losses on digital products and high marketing expenses for its new Advantix system.

Prudential Securities

analyst Alex Henderson, who presciently warned Friday that Kodak's "market share data looks awful," downgraded the stock to hold from buy. He cut his 1997 estimate on Kodak to $4.40 per share from $4.85 and slashed his 1998 view to $4.75 from $5.65. The First Call estimates are $4.88 and $5.68, respectively.

Kodak's punishing fall has sapped about 33 points from the Dow, which nevertheless is well above the 8000 mark on strength in

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

,

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

,

Travelers

(TRV) - Get Report

and others.

But does anyone care besides media nabobs? There's little evidence of swooning on trading floors. "I haven't heard too much chatter about it today," one trader said. "If the Dow creeps up, it creeps up. It'll probably break through it today." At any rate, it seems likely there won't be a repeat of the unfortunate situation that saw the Dow cross 1000 intraday in 1968 but never close there until 1982. And we'll get that 3 1/2-hour

CNBC

Dow 8000 special after all. Yay.

The real excitement, today as for the last week and a half, is in technology.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

has rocketed 5 to 85 15/16 on its earnings outperformance, reported late

yesterday.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, the bigger brother in the Wintel symbiosis, is doing even better, up 8 1/8 to 146 9/16.

The tech-powered

Nasdaq Composite Index

is on pace for its 10th straight record day, nearing 1570. And it's no surprise, given the weight that the biggest Nasdaq issues carry. As of the end of June, the most recent figures available from Nasdaq, Microsoft accounted for 9.1% of the Comp, Intel was 7.1%,

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

was 2.7%,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was 2.0% and

WorldCom

(WCOM)

was 1.7%.

The traditional summer slowdown that usually batters the tech sector is nowhere to be seen so far. "There are a lot of issues that usually hit the techs in the summer" -- product transitions, sluggish demand -- "but those issues seem to be getting more and more resolved," a trader said. "This is usually a volatile earnings period, and so far it's been pretty benign. People were bracing for the kind of volatility we saw last year and it's not happening. It's sort of a relief."