Nasdaq has best week in history

Stocks soar as news on jobs, wages boosts confidence

Wall Street Report on growth energizes markets

June 03, 2000|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks soared after a government report showed new jobs and wages grew less than expected last month. BroadVision Inc. and Conexant Systems Inc. were among the biggest gainers in the Nasdaq composite index.

The Nasdaq finished the best week in its 29-year history, as the report boosted optimism the Federal Reserve will limit interest-rate increases and keep the record nine-year economic expansion going.

Securities firms, including Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., gained on expectations of higher revenue from fees as investors buy stocks.

Northwest Airlines Corp. rose after a report that the No. 4 U.S. carrier is in merger talks with AMR Corp., parent of No. 2 carrier American Airlines.

"This is a market that's been dying for good news," said Ned Brines, who manages about $10 billion for Roger Engemann & Associates in Pasadena, Calif. "There's a lot of cash that's been on the sidelines waiting for the bleeding to stop."

Among Brines' most recent purchases were shares of securities firms Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Charles Schwab & Co.

The Nasdaq gained 230.88 for the day, or 6.4 percent, to 3,813.38, its fifth-biggest gain. The index had its largest one-day gain, 7.9 percent, on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 28.45, or 2 percent, to 1,477.26, giving the index a positive return for the year for the first time since April 25. Technology stocks including Cisco Systems Inc. led the advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 142.56, or 1.3 percent, to 10,794.76. More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. The 20 most active stocks in the United States all gained.

Nearly 1.2 billion shares changed hands on the NYSE, above the three-month daily average of 1 billion. Nearly 1.9 billion shares traded on the Nasdaq stock market.

For the week, the Nasdaq gained 19 percent, surpassing the 9.7 percent gain it recorded the week that ended April 21 as its biggest. The surge reduced the index's year-to-date loss to 6.3 percent.

The S&P 500's 7.2 percent advance put it up 0.6 percent for the year. The Dow gained 4.7 percent this week, cutting its loss this year to 6.1 percent.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks gained 12.2 percent this week, its biggest weekly climb.

Broad market indexes

In the broad market yesterday, the Russell 2000 rose 20.56 to 513.03; the Wilshire 5000 index jumped 366.26 to 13,734.37; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 10.87 to 923.32; the NYSE composite index climbed 8.23 to 659.69; and the S&P 400 mid-cap index added 12.60 to 502.22.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland stock index, a price-weighted list of companies with operations in the region, gained 14.91 to 249.18. Aether Systems Inc. rose $40.50 to $186.50. Human Genome Sciences Inc. rose $14.375 to $105.9375.

Among big gainers nationally, software maker BroadVision gained $10.125 to $53.625; telephone company Nextlink Communications Inc. climbed $13.0625 to $87.50; and Vignette Corp., a maker of customer-service software, rose $7.4375 to $37.4375.

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. rose $8.9375 to $65.4375, and Conexant advanced $8.3125 to $50.9375. Hewlett-Packard Co. rose $8 to $142.25; Cisco climbed $3.4375 to $64.375; and Intel Corp. gained $4.50 to $134.1875.

RF Micro Devices Inc. surged $15.875 to $127.25 after Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Charlie Glavin said increased manufacturing capacity could help the supplier of integrated circuits for wireless equipment to double revenue by March and boost profit margins. Glavin repeated his "strong buy" rating.

Citigroup Inc. gained $2.9375 to $66.25, and American Express Co. climbed $2.625 to $56.50.

The Amex Securities Broker/Dealer Index climbed for a fourth day, rising 8.7 percent on expectations that rising stocks will boost fees paid to securities firms.

Goldman Sachs rose $10.50 to $86.875, and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter climbed $7.3125 to $82.5625 on expectations of an increase in initial stock sales, raising their profits.

Online brokers

Online brokerages gained on optimism for increased profits as the stock market's renewed surge boosts trading volume. E*Trade Group Inc. rose $2 to $18.375, and Ameritrade Holding Corp. gained $1.8125 to $13.625. Schwab, the biggest online brokerage, rose $5.125 to $33.625.

Venture-capital companies, which depend on a rising market to sell shares in companies in which they have an interest, also gained.

Internet Capital Group Inc. jumped $5.8906 to $36.5625, and CMGI Inc. rose $7.625 to $58.50.

Not all investors were equally enthusiastic about the employment report.

"I'm not yet convinced it's as much as the market seems to have made of it," said Todd Petzel, chief investment officer for the CommonFund in Wilton, Conn., which oversees $25 billion for college and university endowments.

Petzel said the upward revision in the number of jobs created in April "was lost in the shuffle."

The government revised the April new-jobs number to 414,000 from 340,000 estimated previously.

The S&P 500's Electronics (Semiconductors) Group, with a gain of 47 percent, became the best performer among the index's 88 industry groups this year, as investors sold the stocks they had bought amid the Nasdaq composite's 40 percent slump.

The previous best-performing group, Natural Gas, slipped to third place with a 41 percent gain this year.

Oil & Gas Drilling and Oil-Well Equipment & Service stocks also fell yesterday.

Halliburton Co., the biggest oilfield services company, lost $2.50 to $48.25, and Rowan Cos. declined $2.125 to $28.1875.

Drugmakers, whose shares are regarded as havens because of their steady earnings even amid a slowing economy, also fell. Pfizer Inc. dropped $1.1875 to $43.8125, and Merck & Co. lost $3.5625 to $68.875.

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