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Tech Issues Keep Wall St. Headed Upward

April 10, 1999|From Times Wire Services

Wall Street forged ahead Friday on its record-setting pace as the Nasdaq and Standard & Poor's indexes posted new highs for the fourth time this week, paced by a rally in technology issues.

The Dow Jones industrial average, however, faltered for the first time in two days as traders paused to take profits on blue-chip stocks before the flood of quarterly corporate earnings reports. The Dow, which closed at record levels three times during the week, slipped 23.86 points to 10,173.84.

The Nasdaq composite index added to Thursday's mark with its 19.66-point climb to 2,593.05. Also rising to a new high for the fourth time this week was the S&P 500-stock index, up 4.37 points to 1,348.35.

Even with Friday's decline, the Dow rose 341.33, or 3.5%, for the week and is up nearly 11% since Jan. 1. The S&P jumped 4.2% for the week, while the Nasdaq composite advanced 4%.

"It was the Internet stocks leading today," said Larry Wachtel, market analyst at Prudential Securities. "The Dow was just taking a breather. But when you think about what went on this week, taking a breather isn't so bad."

Despite higher fuel costs, airline stocks advanced on the New York Stock Exchange.

Some of the gains were attributed to Continental Airlines' announcement that it raised its fares. Continental closed up $3.06 to $40.88, Delta Air Lines gained $4.25 to $71.56 and UAL climbed $1.88 to $78.94.

Pulling the Dow down was Union Carbide, off $3.31 to $48.06, after Morgan Stanley cut its rating for the chemical company. Analysts have dismissed the latest takeover rumors involving the company.

Another Dow component, General Motors, slipped $2.25 to $85.63.

Internet stocks continued their upward march. Online auction company EBay rose $11.63 to $183.38. soared $19.94 to $78.94. The Internet service provider announced a 2-for-1 stock split late Thursday. Investors also snapped up ITurf, the teen clothing and chat site that went public Friday. The stock, priced at $22, rose to $57.44.

Traders shook off a bout of worries over the strength of upcoming earnings reports. A fresh warning from Compaq Computer, however, came after the close of trading. Compaq climbed $1.31 to $31.94.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE.

Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond climbed to 5.46% from 5.44% on Thursday.

Among Friday's highlights:

* Inktomi gained $27.56 to $132.19 on expectations of strong quarterly earnings and speculation the Internet software maker could be acquired.

* Vitesse Semiconductor fell $6.63 to $51 on concerns about profit uncertainty for the maker of chips that speed up telecommunications products.

* Florida Panthers Holdings climbed $1.88 to $9.50 after the owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team and several hotels said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose to 70 cents a share, beating the 61-cent average estimate of three analysts polled by First Call.

* Bottomline Technologies rose $3.75 to $64.50 as the maker of automated-payment software formed a marketing alliance with PeopleSoft, the No. 2 business-management software maker. PeopleSoft eased 69 cents to $13.56.

Market Roundup, C4

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