After waiting for a couple of hours for
to say something (and it finally did), and with the 30-year Treasury bond trading -- get this -- on the plus side, stocks were higher at midday.
Hewlett-Packard, which announced a realignment of the company late this morning, creating two independent companies, was surging 10.3%. The restructuring plan was first reported this morning in
The Wall Street Journal
The stock, which had been halted most of the morning, helped send the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
to its session highs. The blue-chip index was up 83, or 0.9%, to 9408.
Meanwhile, the 30-year bond was up 25/32 to 94 21/32, yielding 5.62%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early
Nasdaq Composite Index
was up 21, or 0.9%, to 2316.
Tech sector barometers were higher, shaking off some earlier weakness. The
was up 0.7%, as was the
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
was up 0.7%. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was up 1%, despite a pullback in
on another downgrade.
was up 11, or 0.9%, to 1247.
Net stocks were mostly higher.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was up 22, or 4.1%, to 547.
was the biggest gainer in the index, up 10%.
TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index
added 3, or 2.9%, to 100.
Meanwhile in tech news, out in Utah,
Hambrecht & Quist's plaNET.wall.street
conference enters its second day.
has been providing
coverage of the conference.
gained 4, or 1%, to 398.
Meanwhile, thanks to a burst of bullishness on the airline sector via
Dow Jones Transportation Average
jumped 2.3%. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
After last week's mid-to-late-week selloff, the major market averages mostly managed to post some gains yesterday and have padded them today.
"I think we're oversold enough to rally," said John Roque, senior analyst at
Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder
, around midmorning. He added, however, the upside isn't likely to be that much. About 3%, he said.
Roque said it is a good thing for the market that bellwether
is holding up. GE was up 9/16 to 101 1/2. He also said it is important for the market that the banks have done better and that the airlines are doing well.
Although there are some positives in the market right now, Roque said it's not enough to get bullish about. He's sticking with his call of a "corrective phase that encompasses more time than price," as he said in a report sent out before the open.
Going forward, if the S&P 500 closes below 1212, and/or GE closes under 96, the market's performance and tone "becomes dicier," Roque said.
Worrisome for the market for a while now has been the poor performance of the bond market.
Roque said there is some support at 120 on the June bond futures contract, but he still thinks it will test 118. That's not all. He also sees the long bond's yield rising to 5.80%. The contract was lately up 25/32 to 120 28/32.
Speaking of interest rates, as for yesterday, in the face of another bond-market rout, the stock market did a pretty good job of coming back, said Louis Todd, head of equities trading at
One thing working in the market's favor is that the calendar of IPOs and secondary offerings has thinned out in the last week or two, with deals being postponed and withdrawn, Todd said.
Todd said he has noticed that some of the market's leadership might be shifting, with a movement away from technology and over to retail and consumer-type stocks.
Meanwhile, among other indices, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
was up 0.9% and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
was up 0.7%.
New York Stock Exchange
advancers were beating decliners 1,641 to 1,151 on 402 million shares. On the
Nasdaq Stock Market
, losers were leading winners 1,940 to 1,678 on 484 million shares.
On the NYSE, 50 issues had set new 52-week lows while 30 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 51 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 46.
Most active on the Big Board was
, with 19 million shares changing hands. It was down 19/32 to 32 15/16.
On the Nasdaq,
was most active, with 23.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 33.7%. Today French telecom company
said it is buying Xylan. Alcatel was up 3.8%.
Tuesday's Midday Movers
As noted above, H-P recently was up 6 5/8, or 10.3%, to 72 1/2 after a midmorning announcement that it will break up into two separate publicly traded companies, one a measurement business, the other a computing and imaging firm. The company said Edward Barnholt, current executive vice president and general manager of the Measurement Organization, was named chief executive of the new measurement company. H-P sees an IPO of about 15% of the measurement company's shares by the end of the year, saying it would be the largest tech IPO in Silicon Valley history.
The new computing and imaging company will continue to operate under the Hewlett-Packard name. Lewis E. Platt will continue as chairman, president and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard until the separation is complete. A special board committee will then seek a new CEO for the computing and imaging company.
In other news:
@Home was up 10 5/8, or 9.9%, to 117 3/4 after its board declared a 2-for-1 stock split and
Credit Suisse First Boston
initiated coverage with a buy.
was up 3 15/16, or 12.8%, to 34 11/16 after entering an agreement calling for
to license the company's
server software. Dialogic will provide development services to Microsoft in exchange for $20 million. Also, Microsoft, lately up 1 15/16 to 153 5/8, made a $24.2 million equity investment in Dialogic. Microsoft rival
was up 3 11/16 to 100 7/8 after
The Wall Street Journal
said the company plans to distribute chip designs free to outside developers.
was up 2 5/8, or 5.7%, to 49 after saying it will buy back up to $200 million in stock.
Lernout & Hauspie
was up 3 3/16, or 11.6%, to 30 11/16 after last night saying its founders will buy up to $40 million in company stock.
Xylan was climbing 9 1/16, or 33.7%, to 35 31/32 after France's Alcatel agreed to buy it for $37 a share, or $2 billion, in cash. Alcatel was up 13/16 to 22 3/16.
was up 1/16 to 32 15/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, beating the seven-analyst forecast of 44 cents and topping the year-ago 35 cents.
was up 2 5/8, or 10.5%, to 27 5/8 after last night topping fourth-quarter earnings estimates by a penny a share with a profit of 56 cents.
was up 2 1/16 to 66 3/16 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 97 cents a share, above both the 15-analyst view of 90 cents and the year-ago 76 cents.
Federated Department Stores
was up 1 5/16 to 40 11/16 after recording fourth-quarter earnings of $1.88 a share, 6 cents ahead of the 17-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago $1.66. The company said same-store sales during the quarter rose 4.1%.
was down 2 1/4, or 15.8%, to 12 after last night warning it expects second-quarter earnings and sales to fall short of first-quarter figures because of slower PC sales. Today, Credit Suisse First Boston cut its second-quarter earnings outlook for the company to 8 cents a share from 12 cents.
lowered the stock to accumulate from strong buy and
NationsBanc Montgomery Securities
dropped it to hold from buy.
was up 1 1/8, or 6.3%, to 19 1/8 after last night topping first-quarter earnings forecasts by 2 cents a share with a profit of 30 cents.
was up 5/16, or 6.3%, to 5 1/4 after saying it sees fourth-quarter and full-year 1998 earnings meeting analysts' targets. The four-analyst estimate calls for quarter earnings of 23 cents a share and 1998 earnings of $1.58. The limping retailer also announced plans for an e-commerce and direct marketing subsidiary called
took a look at some of Venator's other efforts and challenges in a
was flying up 17 9/16, or 29.1%, to 78 after last night saying it expects to record first-quarter earnings of 51 cents to 55 cents a share because of strong demand. The four-analyst view called for 36 cents vs. the year-ago 23 cents. Today,
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
upgraded the stock to buy from long-term attractive and
Warburg Dillon Read
upped its price target for the stock to 110 from 76 a share. Warburg also lifted its 1999 earnings estimate for VISX to $2.05 from $1.47 a share.
was up 4 1/16, or 9.9%, to 45 1/16 after last night saying its first-quarter and full-year earnings will be at "record" levels and that it approved the repurchase of $250 million in stock. The company also said it will restructure its Brazilian operation's balance sheet to lessen the impact of fluctuations in the Brazilian real. Today,
Brown Brothers Harriman
pushed up its rating on Whirlpool to near-term buy from neutral and set a 12-month price target of 50 a share.