Stocks Higher, with Gains in Telecoms and Autos

Still, some of the euro jubilation appears to be dissipating.
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FRANKFURT -- Stocks floated higher again this morning, buoyed by waves of liquidity, and by further strength in telecoms and autos.

But the movement higher was tentative, and by midday -- with traders reluctant to buy after already huge gains this week -- most indices had slipped from session highs.

In Frankfurt, the

Xetra Dax

was up 46 points, or 0.9%, at 5391; in London the

FTSE-100

was up 45, or 0.8%, at 6147; and in Paris the

CAC-40

was up 10, or 0.2%, at 4241.

The jubilation from the launch of the euro appears to be dissipating, and attention is slowly turning again to the usual worries: Japan, Brazil, slowing economies, shaky profit outlook.

President Clinton's

impeachment trial in the

Senate

also is being eyed warily here.

Andreas Kehl, equities sales trader at

Deutsche Bank

in Frankfurt, is a bit edgy about stocks. But he said he remained cautiously bullish, repeating the battle cry heard all week by buyers around Europe: "There is just so much liquidity right now."

In other words, there appears to be strong support below current levels. Support in the form of lots of traders who missed the explosive rally earlier this week. With plenty of cash in hand, these latecomers are poised to spring onto weakness.

Bourses here also were soothed somewhat by Wall Street's late-session bounce yesterday, recovering from early losses to end near flat. Hope here among bulls is for follow-through strength in New York and a strong open. But

S&P 500

futures had slipped from earlier session highs, and were last up only 2.90 points at 1280.70.

The dollar was bid at 111.72 yen and 1.1652 euros, while the U.S. long bond was yielding 5.23%.

German telecom

Mannesmann

reported 1998 pretax earnings up 50%, which sent its shares up 3.7% after the news. But the telecom, already up more than 20% this year and 147% in the last 12 months, fell in a classic case of sell-the-fact. Shares were last down 1.3%.

But, with a few exceptions, hot telecom sector continued to sizzle today, snapped up by buyers hoping for more news of mergers and buyouts.

Orange

was up 5.1%,

Cable and Wireless

was up 3.8% and

Colt was up 1.5%.

And

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

, which helped trigger telecom fever earlier this week with its attempt to outbid

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

for

AirTouch

(ATI) - Get Report

, was down 0.3% today, but up 9.8% for the week.

In autos,

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

was up 1.8%,

Renault

up 3.0%,

Volvo

up 3.4%, and

Volkswagen

up 2.4%. But there were a couple of fender-benders after gains earlier this week:

Fiat

was down 2.0% and

BMW

down 0.3%.

Banks were widely mixed across Europe, for example, with

Dresdner Bank

up 4.0%, but

Banque Nationale de Paris

down 4.4%.

And

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

, which tanked earlier this week after a profit warning, continued to climb back, today up 3.5%.