For three straight sessions, stocks sold off on early rallies to close lower. Today they got the selloff out of the way early, with much happier results.
Stocks tanked early amid some bad productivity numbers from the
(see below). But large cap stocks battled back throughout the day and, finally, despite decidedly weak market internals, all the major proxies finished in the black.
The turnaround in tech and Internet stocks was most dramatic. The
Nasdaq Composite Index
gained 25.82 to 2565.82 and
TheStreet.com Intenet Sector
index added 23.64 to 513.55. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
advanced 119.05 to 10,793.82 and the
picked up 8.38 to 1313.71. And the small-cap
eked out a 0.05 point gain to close at 429.75.
The 30-year Treasury bond gained 28/32 to 89 1/32, its yield falling to 6.053%.
The big European indices all finished deep in the red, paced by Germany's
, which lost about 3%.
Asian markets got hit hard overnight. Hong Kong's
dropped 336.68, or 2.5%, to 13,254.34, while Tokyo's
dropped 327.19, or 1.9%, to 17,358.19.
More markets news and commentary are available in
is buying privately held Woodstock, Ill.-based
Automatic Liquid Packaging
, a custom manufacturer of sterile liquid pharmaceuticals and other health-care products, for $390 million in stock.
agreed to buy
for about $2.7 billion in stock, about a third less than it originally offered for the Canadian commercial lender, according to reports in
The Globe and Mail
, each of which cited unnamed sources.
canceled plans to sell its small business sales unit -- which would have meant the transfer about 2,000 employees and 700,000 customers -- to
, a startup headed by former Lucent and
executive Susan Mandl. The financial terms of the now-dead deal were never disclosed.
More news on companies and stocks are available in
Stock News section.
The Net IPOs just keep on coming:
Auto dealership Web site manager
(CBLT:Nasdaq) lost 2 3/4, or 25%, to 8 1/4 in its trading debut. Lead underwriter
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
priced Cobalt at $11 a share last night, below its $13 to $15 pricing range.
(HOMS:Nasdaq) picked up 2 3/4, or 13.8%, to 22 3/4 after being priced top-range at $20 a share by
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
. HomeStore.com's initial pricing range was $8 to $10 a share.
(IPIX:Nasdaq) gained 11/16 to 18 11/16 after being priced top-range at $18 a share last night by
E-commerce investment group
(ICGE:Nasdaq) surged 12 3/8, or 103.1%, to 24 7/16, having been priced top-range at $12 a share by
Elsewhere in new tech issues,
Mission Critical Software
(MCSW:Nasdaq) advanced 9 1/2, or 59.4%, to 25 7/16 in its first day of trading.
Hambrecht & Quist
priced Mission Critical at $16 a share last night.
set plans to buy Hong Kong-based electronics maker
for $250 million in stock.
is planning to offer low-priced, or perhaps even free, Internet access in an attempt to take on
dial-up Net-access business,
The Wall Street Journal
More tech news and commentary are available in
Tech Stocks section.
The Labor Department released figures showing
initial jobless claims
at 279,000 for the week ended July 31, below the expected 284,000 and up from last week's 275,000.
Labor also released figures showing second-quarter nonfarm productivity rising only 1.3%, the smallest gain since the second quarter of 1998. That's a half-percentage point below expectations, and down from a revised jump of 3.6% in the first quarter. Unit labor costs swelled 3.8%, the largest jump since the fourth-quarter of 1997. Economists had expected a 2.2% hop, vs. the modest revised increase of 0.8% in last quarter.
U.K. cable firm
confirmed it plans to launch high-speed Internet services next year with the help of major shareholder Microsoft.
More international news and commentary are available in
After submitting to what must have been the most humiliating medical examination ever, Kathy Jager -- a 56-year-old nurse, grandmother and world-class "oldies" athlete -- was officially declared a woman this week by the
World Association of Veteran Athletes
The Arizona Republic
reported yesterday. Fellow athletes had complained that Jager was really a man after the beefy sprinter set a record for women over 50 in the 100-meter dash during the Wava's world championship games. "It is obvious, if you look at her, why the complaint was lodged," said a male athlete from the Australian team.