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Winding Road Ends on the Upside for Major Indices

They were up, they were down, they were all over town, and in the end the top proxies sported solid gains.

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.

A hawkish

speech from

Fed

Gov.

Laurence Meyer

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

yesterday.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed up 120.58, or 1.1%, to 10,998.39, just under its intraday high of 11,000.83.

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

TheStreet Recommends

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

(PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company Report

and the newly minted

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report

, 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

leapt 6.8%.

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

Yahoo!'s

(YHOO)

addition to the

S&P 500

-- 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

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

, which went from as high as 84 1/8 to as low in 76 7/16 in short order amid reports that

Lehman Brothers

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

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

, and

Applied Materials

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; the

Nasdaq 100

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

Lucent

(LU)

, 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

PaineWebber

. "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

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

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

America Online

(AOL)

rose 5.1% after acquiring wireless communications software developer

Tegic Communications

. 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,

TheStreet.com

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.

The

Russell 2000

closed down 0.41, or 0.1%, to 453.67.

In

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

Value Line

, 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

By Eileen Kinsella
Staff Reporter

(

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

Storage USA

(SUS)

agreed to two joint ventures with General Electric's financial unit

GE Capital

. 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

Arco

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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

BP Amoco

(BPA)

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

Mobil

. 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

Abgenix

(ABGX)

jumped 9, or 17.7%, to 60 1/8 after saying it has inked a research license agreement with

Chiron

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involving antibody products Shares of Chiron rose 15/16 to 33 3/4.

Separately, Abgenix also agreed to a deal with

Human Genome Sciences

(HGSI)

to develop antibody therapeutics. Human Genome jumped 8 13/16, or 7.9%, to 120 7/8.

AlliedSignal

(ALD)

rose 5/8 to 60 5/8 and

Honeywell

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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

coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

America Online climbed 3 5/8 to 76 1/2 after saying it is acquiring

Tegic Communications

.

CMGI

(CMGI)

rose 2 3/16 to 149 1/2 after it agreed to buy instant messaging system

Tribal Voice

.

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

jumped 10 3/8, or 6.5%, to 170 5/16 after saying it is buying

Opt-In Email.com

, an Internet email marketing, publishing and list-management firm based in Boulder, Colo., for an undisclosed amount.

Irish telecom company

Esat Telecom

(ESAT)

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

Telia-Telenor

.

Theglobe.com

(TGLO)

hopped 7/16 to 11 1/2 after it said it has agreed to buy

Webjump.com

in a stock deal valued at $12.5 million. Theglobe.com said it could pay double if Webjump.com meets performance expectations.

Host America

(CAFE)

cooled 3/8, or 8.8%, to 4 after saying it entered a deal to handle

priceline.com's

(PCLN)

corporate food service and catering facilities. priceline lost 1 7/16 to 60 5/8.

International Speedway

(ISCA) - Get International Speedway Corporation Class A Report

fell 1 1/2 to 64 1/4 after saying it acquired

Richmond International Speedway

in a deal valued at $215 million.

Hilton Hotels

(HLT) - Get Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc Report

and

Promus Hotel

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said their shareholders favored Hilton's $2.7 billion acquisition of Promus. Hilton rose 5/16 to 10 5/16.

Informix

(IFMX)

, a database software concern, lost 1 5/16, or 12%, to 9 21/32 after saying it is acquiring

Ardent Software

(ARDT)

in a deal valued at $880 million. Ardent jumped 5 7/16, or 20.8%, to 31 3/4. See additional reporting on the

acquisition from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom

Insmed Pharmaceuticals

, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, is acquiring

Celtrix Pharmaceuticals

(CTRX)

, with the total deal valued at about $140 million. Celtrix added 7/16, or 28.6%, to 1 31/32.

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Lockheed Martin Corporation Report

rose 5/16 to 20 3/16 after it said it would sell its

Hanford

subsidiary, an

Energy Department

environmental management contractor, to

CH2M HILL

. 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

Sun Microsystems

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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

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

The

Louisiana Gaming Board

agreed to allow

Players'

(PLAY) - Get Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. Report

merger with

Harrah's Entertainment

(HET)

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.

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report

inched up 1.9% to 46 5/8 after saying it agreed to acquire the

Boston Market

restaurant chain from bankrupt

Boston Chicken

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

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint news room.

Medco Research

(MRE)

gained 3/8 to 27 after its board favored selling the company to

King Pharmaceuticals

(KING)

. Shares of King slipped 1/16 to 46 3/32.

Scudder Kemper Investments

, a unit of

Zurich Group

, a Swiss insurance company, is expected to announce that it is folding its brokerage business into that of

DLJdirect

(DIR)

,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. DLJdirect is majority owned by

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

(DLJ)

, 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

(PCS)

fell 2 13/16 to 88 15/16 and

IBM

(IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report

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.

Union Carbide

(UK)

rose 1 15/16 to 60 7/16 after it said its shareholders approved its proposed acquisition by

Dow Chemical

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. Dow Chemical rose 1 15/16 to 119 1/16. The deal is valued at $8.5 billion.

Warner Chilcott

(WCRX)

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

Analog Devices

(ADI) - Get Analog Devices, Inc. Report

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

(BOL)

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

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

Central Parking

(CPC)

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.

Dover

(DOV) - Get Dover Corporation Report

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.

Florida Rock

(FRK)

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.

Intimate Brands

(IBI)

rose 3/4 to 43 7/16 after it reported November same-store sales rose 9%.

Litton Industries

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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.

Tech Data

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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

Fidelity Holdings

(FDHG)

fell 1/16 to 16 after it set a 3-for-2 stock split.

First Washington Realty Trust

(FRW)

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.

Flushing Financial

(FFIC) - Get Flushing Financial Corporation Report

rose 1/8 to 15 3/4 after it set a plan to repurchase 5% of its outstanding stock.

Analyst actions

Goldman Sachs

initiated coverage of

Adelphia Business

(ABIZ)

adding it to its recommended list. Shares of Adelphia added on 7/16 to 31 3/4.

Salomon Smith Barney rolled out coverage of

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report

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

Bottomline Technologies

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to buy from market perform. Bottomline Technologies bounced 3 3/8, or 15.7%, to 25.

Salomon Smith Barney rolled out coverage of

Brocade Communications

(BRCD)

with a neutral rating and set a price target of 325. Brocade Communications stumbled 7 7/8 to 281 1/2.

PaineWebber

rolled out coverage of

Careinsite

(CARI)

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

Comverse

(CMVT)

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

Delphi Financial

(DFG)

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

eBay

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with a neutral rating. Shares of eBay sank 5 1/16 to 160.

Merrill Lynch

raised its long-term rating on

Liz Claiborne

(LIZ)

to buy from accumulate. Liz Claiborne slid 1/16 to 37 3/8.

Salomon Smith Barney initiated coverage of

Network Appliance

(NTAP) - Get NetApp, Inc. Report

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

Nokia

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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

Novellus Systems

(NVLS)

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

Sears

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to buy from underperform. Shares of Sears added 3/4 to 34 15/16.

Merrill upgraded its intermediate-term rating on shares of

Solectron

(SLR)

to buy from accumulate. Solectron tacked on 4 1/4, or 5.1%, to 86 3/4.

Merrill Lynch sliced its rating on

Sylvan Learning

(SLVN)

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

United Technologies

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with a strong buy rating. Shares of United Technologies hopped 1 9/16 to 58 1/16.

Miscellany

Biomatrix

(BXM)

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.

Phelps Dodge

(PD) - Get PagerDuty, Inc. Report

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.

Reebok International

(RBK)

declined 5/16 to 8 11/16 after it said

Reebok Brand

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.

Ryder System

(R) - Get Ryder System, Inc. Report

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

Laidlaw

(LDW)

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.