SAN FRANCISCO -- There was no sleight of hand, but market bulls pulled one out their hats today. Stock proxies ended higher but the session was not without its struggles, especially for tech stocks and bonds, which can't seem to find the magic words that bring higher prices.
last night had bonds and stock futures heading south this morning. But after rising to as high as 6.35%, the long bond's yield receded following the release of the
National Association of Purchasing Management
index, which fell to 56.2 in November from 56.6 in October while the prices paid component fell to 65.3 from 69.4.
The price of the 30-year Treasury bond suffered another about face but equities were undeterred. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond slid 3/32 to 97 21/32, its yield at 6.30%. Meanwhile, the dollar rose to 102.70 yen vs. 102.10 late
Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed up 120.58, or 1.1%, to 10,998.39, just under its intraday high of 11,000.83.
was the Dow's biggest positive influence, rising 3.4% to 134 9/16 after
Salomon Smith Barney
upped its price target to 150 from 135.
The Dow was further boosted by strength in
Procter & Gamble
and the newly minted
, which rose 4% to an all-time high of 82 1/2 amid broad strength in energy stocks. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
But while the Dow was steady and strong throughout, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
had a bumpier ride.
After rising as high as 3375.80 behind broad strength in tech bellwethers and Internet names -- following
last night's news of
addition to the
-- the tech-acclaimed index faltered at midday, sliding briefly into negative territory, to as low as 3321.57.
The Comp's swoon coincided directly with a steep decline in shares of
, which went from as high as 84 1/8 to as low in 76 7/16 in short order amid reports that
had lowered its revenue forecasts. WorldCom closed down 5.5% to 78 1/8.
The index bounced at midafternoon, rising above 3350 before sliding again to as low as 3326 in the final hour before surging higher to close up 17.55, or 0.5%, to 3353.71.
Overcoming WorldCom's negative pressure was strength in bellwethers such as
rose 1% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
gained 1.9%. The
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
rose 1.9%, getting a big boost from
, which rose 4.2%.
"It's a mixed bag across the board today
but some of the tech stocks that took hits yesterday were strong," said Robert Harrington, co-head of block trading at
. "People have got good performance from tech this year -- they may sell 'em off a little but that group is going to hold tight until the end of the year."
The S&P 500 wavered from its morning high of 1400.12, falling as low as 1389.96 shortly after 1 p.m. EST. Weakness in drug makers such as
restrained the index; the
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
shed 1.5%. But the S&P recovered its footing to close up 8.81, or 0.6%, to 1397.72.
Meanwhile, Yahoo! gained 7.5% on the S&P news and
rose 5.1% after acquiring wireless communications software developer
. But other Net stalwarts failed to rally, leaving
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index down 4.92, or 0.5%, to 925.29 after trading as high as 946.86. Also,
Red Hots index edged up 0.46 to 320.77. The 20-stock index tracks action in particularly volatile stocks and is meant to measure so-called hot money.
closed down 0.41, or 0.1%, to 453.67.
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 888.7 million shares were exchanged while declining stocks led advancers 1,701 to 1,376. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
action 1.424 billion shares traded while losers led 2,124 to 1,943. New 52-week lows outpaced new highs 251 to 31 on the Big Board while new highs led 133 to 68 in over-the-counter trading.
Right on Track
Despite the gains by the most major of averages, traders said the action today was uninspiring.
"There's red and green even within different groups," Harrington said. "I don't hardly see a trend. It's just some of the Dow stocks acted better."
Still, Phil Orlando, chief investment officer at
, believes the major indices are acting just right.
When the Dow bottomed at 10,000 on
Oct. 15, Orlando said he forecast the index would enjoy a 2000-point rally by the end of January.
"We're halfway home in terms of points and a little less in terms of the calendar," he said, forecasting the index will hit 13,000 by the end of 2000.
As for the Nasdaq, the money manager had expected a move to 3400 off the October lows, but not until the end of January. The Comp's eclipse of that level
Nov. 24 "suggests we've gone a little too quickly, too far," Orlando said. "Maybe the Nasdaq will just consolidate here and tread water."
Orlando does not foresee the kind of big declines that have often greeted huge upside tech moves in the past because "these companies are cranking" in terms of fundamentals.
In addition, the lack of Y2K compliance abroad -- especially in Latin America and the Pacific Rim -- will create "dislocations" and thus "outsized market opportunities" for "any big tech and telecom company with a global reach," he said.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
fell 25.81, or 0.9%, to 2883.91; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
dipped 1.57, or 0.6%, to 279.96; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
added 1.77, or 0.2%, to 834.58.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
rose 69.27, or 0.9%, to 7592.50 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
gained 64.67, or 1.1%, to 6201.14.
Wednesday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.
General Electric was among the Big Board's best gainers, climbing 4 7/16 to 134 9/16 after Salomon Smith Barney raised its price target to 150 from 135.
Separately real estate investment trust
agreed to two joint ventures with General Electric's financial unit
. Shares of Storage USA slipped 1/8 to 26 7/8. The agreements, which include a $240 million acquisition joint venture and a $160 million development endeavor, will support almost all of Storage USA's growth for the next two years. Since Storage USA will hold a minority stake in the ventures, it will contribute some fee-based services such as property management and selecting appropriate development opportunities.
It was a rough day for
which shed 3 7/8 to 92 1/16 after a story in
The New York Times
which said the
Federal Trade Commission
concluded the proposed $29 billion merger with
violates antitrust law and recommended that the full commission block the deal. BP Amoco climbed 9/16 to 61 1/2 on the news.
Meanwhile, yesterday the FTC gave the green light to Exxon's acquisition of
. Shares of Exxon Mobil gained 3 3/16 to 82 1/2.
BP Amoco said that terms in the FTC's decision to authorize Exxon's takeover of Mobil support its own plans to buy Arco.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
jumped 9, or 17.7%, to 60 1/8 after saying it has inked a research license agreement with
involving antibody products Shares of Chiron rose 15/16 to 33 3/4.
Separately, Abgenix also agreed to a deal with
Human Genome Sciences
to develop antibody therapeutics. Human Genome jumped 8 13/16, or 7.9%, to 120 7/8.
rose 5/8 to 60 5/8 and
gained 2 1/4 to 114 3/16 after it said it would assume a charge of roughly $850 million to $950 million as a result of their planned merger. The companies, which said that definitive restructuring figures and layoffs would be announced in the future, expects the merger to add 20% to EPS next year due to cost savings. For more on the merger, check out additional
America Online climbed 3 5/8 to 76 1/2 after saying it is acquiring
rose 2 3/16 to 149 1/2 after it agreed to buy instant messaging system
jumped 10 3/8, or 6.5%, to 170 5/16 after saying it is buying
, an Internet email marketing, publishing and list-management firm based in Boulder, Colo., for an undisclosed amount.
Irish telecom company
rose 13 1/2, or 20.8%, to 79 5/16 after it encouraged its shareholders to reject a $1.59 billion hostile takeover offer by Nordic telecom group
hopped 7/16 to 11 1/2 after it said it has agreed to buy
in a stock deal valued at $12.5 million. Theglobe.com said it could pay double if Webjump.com meets performance expectations.
cooled 3/8, or 8.8%, to 4 after saying it entered a deal to handle
corporate food service and catering facilities. priceline lost 1 7/16 to 60 5/8.
fell 1 1/2 to 64 1/4 after saying it acquired
Richmond International Speedway
in a deal valued at $215 million.
said their shareholders favored Hilton's $2.7 billion acquisition of Promus. Hilton rose 5/16 to 10 5/16.
, a database software concern, lost 1 5/16, or 12%, to 9 21/32 after saying it is acquiring
in a deal valued at $880 million. Ardent jumped 5 7/16, or 20.8%, to 31 3/4. See additional reporting on the
, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, is acquiring
, with the total deal valued at about $140 million. Celtrix added 7/16, or 28.6%, to 1 31/32.
rose 5/16 to 20 3/16 after it said it would sell its
environmental management contractor, to
. Terms were not disclosed, though Lockheed said today's sale is the first in a series of possible divestitures aimed at sharpening its focus on its core business.
Lucent jumped 3 1/4 to 77 1/8 and
lost 2 1/16 after saying they have entered a deal to package communications networks. For more on the
pact, check out the story from
Louisiana Gaming Board
agreed to allow
to proceed in return for a payment of $10.2 million. Harrah's lost 15/16 to 26 11/16 while Players rose 13/32, or 5.2%, to 8 3/16.
inched up 1.9% to 46 5/8 after saying it agreed to acquire the
restaurant chain from bankrupt
for $173.5 million, including cash and debt assumption. McDonald's said the acquisition will help its domestic growth. For more on the
acquisition, check out
joint news room.
gained 3/8 to 27 after its board favored selling the company to
. Shares of King slipped 1/16 to 46 3/32.
Scudder Kemper Investments
, a unit of
, a Swiss insurance company, is expected to announce that it is folding its brokerage business into that of
The Wall Street Journal
reported. DLJdirect is majority owned by
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
, the investment bank. Shares of DLJdirect rose 1/2 to 17 1/16 while DLJ lost 1 3/16 to 49 1/8.
Sprint PCS Group
fell 2 13/16 to 88 15/16 and
rose 11/16 to 103 34 after the companies said they entered a pact to create products that would enable employees to access their email and other business information through Sprint PCS Internet-ready phones.
rose 1 15/16 to 60 7/16 after it said its shareholders approved its proposed acquisition by
. Dow Chemical rose 1 15/16 to 119 1/16. The deal is valued at $8.5 billion.
inched up 1/16 to 9 1/4 after it set a modified pact with Schering-Plough to promote certain Schering-Plough products. Schering dropped 2 1/2 to 48 5/8.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
added 3, or 5.2%, to 60 1/2 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, beating the 20-analyst estimate of 35 cents a share and the year-ago 16 cents.
Bausch & Lomb
bounced up 4 3/16, or 7.6%, to 59 after it said it plans to cut 850 jobs globally, in an attempt to consolidate its contact lens manufacturing division. Bausch & Lomb said the restructuring would result in a fourth-quarter pretax charge of $56 million, or 61 cents a share. Separately, the company said it plans to buy back five million shares of stock. See additional
reporting on the news from the
dropped 5 3/8, or 20.8%, to 20 1/2 after it said it sees fourth-quarter earnings below analyst estimates, but above year-ago earnings. The current six-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 30 cents a share.
climbed 1 5/16 to 44 13/16 after it said it sees its fourth-quarter earnings beating the 12-analyst estimate of 48 cents a share, as a result of an increase in October and November orders.
gained 3/8 to 31 5/8 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 67 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 65 cents, and the year-ago 60 cents a share.
rose 3/4 to 43 7/16 after it reported November same-store sales rose 9%.
rose 2 13/16, or 6.3%, to 47 5/8 after it reported first-quarter earnings of $1.07 a share, in line with the seven-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago $1.01.
lost 1 5/16, or 5.4%, to 23 5/16 despite posting third-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share, beating the 14-analyst estimate of 59 cents but down from the year-ago 63 cents a share.
Offerings and stock actions
fell 1/16 to 16 after it set a 3-for-2 stock split.
First Washington Realty Trust
rose 1/4 to 18 1/8 after it said it plans to repurchase 10.5% of its stock through a 1 million-share repurchasing program.
rose 1/8 to 15 3/4 after it set a plan to repurchase 5% of its outstanding stock.
initiated coverage of
adding it to its recommended list. Shares of Adelphia added on 7/16 to 31 3/4.
Salomon Smith Barney rolled out coverage of
with a buy rating a set a price target of 120. Amazon.com slid 1/16 to 85.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
said it upped its rating on
to buy from market perform. Bottomline Technologies bounced 3 3/8, or 15.7%, to 25.
Salomon Smith Barney rolled out coverage of
with a neutral rating and set a price target of 325. Brocade Communications stumbled 7 7/8 to 281 1/2.
rolled out coverage of
with a buy rating and set a price target of 63. Shares of Careinsite advanced 4 1/16, or 7.7%, to 56 5/16.
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
upped its price target on
to 125 from 96 and raised its fiscal 1999 earnings estimate to $2.11 a share from $1.98. Shares of Comverse skidded 5 1/16 to 115 13/16.
Goldman Sachs sliced its rating on
to market outperformer from trading buy. Shares of Delphi Financial declined 1 3/4, or 5.6%, to 29 1/4.
Salomon Smith Barney rolled out coverage of
with a neutral rating. Shares of eBay sank 5 1/16 to 160.
raised its long-term rating on
to buy from accumulate. Liz Claiborne slid 1/16 to 37 3/8.
Salomon Smith Barney initiated coverage of
with an outperform rating and set a price target of 145. Network Appliance shares bounced 7 3/8, or 6.2%, to 125.
Credit Suisse First Boston
raised its price target on
to 160 and reaffirmed its strong buy rating for the stock. Nokia shares rose 1 3/4 to 141 3/4.
Warburg Dillon Read
upped its fiscal 2000 EPS estimate on
to $3.10 a share from $3.01. Shares of Novellus mounted 1 7/8 to 84 1/16.
Banc of America Securities
raised its rating on
to buy from underperform. Shares of Sears added 3/4 to 34 15/16.
Merrill upgraded its intermediate-term rating on shares of
to buy from accumulate. Solectron tacked on 4 1/4, or 5.1%, to 86 3/4.
Merrill Lynch sliced its rating on
to intermediate accumulate from buy. Sylvan Learning slipped 1 1/8, or 8.5%, to 12 1/8.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
initiated coverage of
with a strong buy rating. Shares of United Technologies hopped 1 9/16 to 58 1/16.
lost 3/16 to 23 5/16 after it said it received authorization to market its ophthalmic solution
i.com Comfort Shield
in the European Union.
stumbled 5/8 to 51 3/8 after it said it named president J. Steven Whisler as CEO to succeed Douglas Yearley as of the company's annual meeting on May 3. Yearley, 63, plans to retire.
declined 5/16 to 8 11/16 after it said
President and CEO Carl Yankowski has resigned to accept a CEO position at another company. Reebok International's chairman and CEO Paul Fireman will take over as Reebok Brand's president.
fell 11/16 to 21 7/8 after it said it will realign and refocus its organization on customer solutions. The company said it would combine its transport and logistics units and create a finance subsidiary. Ryder also said it would cut 200 of 30,000 jobs over six months due to the reorganization.
Standard & Poor's
said after yesterday's close that it will add Yahoo! to the S&P 500 index at the close of trading Tuesday, reflecting the growing influence of Internet companies. Yahoo!, with a weighty market capitalization of $56 billion, will bump Canadian school bus company
from the index. Shares of Yahoo! soared 16 1/16, or 7.5%, to 228 7/8, while Laidlaw dropped 1/2, or 8.2%, to 5 5/8.