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Nasdaq's Biggest Surge in 2 Weeks Lifts Wall Street

August 18, 2000|From Times Wire Services

U.S. stocks climbed as semiconductor and computer-networking shares drove the Nasdaq composite index to its biggest gain in two weeks.

Intel led the surge after a Credit Suisse First Boston analyst forecast faster-than-expected revenue growth for the chip maker. Ciena and Brocade Communications Systems climbed after reporting earnings that topped estimates.

Oil stocks such as Exxon Mobil and financial stocks including J.P. Morgan lifted the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

"If there's one driver more than any other, it's interest rates," said Pip Coburn, global technology strategist with UBS Warburg. Investor optimism that the economy can grow steadily while interest rates remain stable helped spark the gains, he said.

Government reports Wednesday provided the latest evidence that the economy is cooling enough for Federal Reserve policymakers to leave rates unchanged next week.

Nasdaq rose 79.67 points, or 2.1%, to close Thursday at 3,940.87, its fifth straight gain. The S&P 500 gained 16.22, or 1.1%, to 1,496.07 and the Dow added 47.25 points, or 0.4%, to 11,055.64.

More than five stocks rose for every four that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume was modest. Winners topped losers by 4 to 3 on Nasdaq.

Intel climbed $2 to $70.06 after Credit Suisse's Charlie Glavin raised his projections for third-quarter revenue and added earnings forecast.

Ciena rose $15.94 to $179.19, while Brocade rose $15.19 to $211.94 after the company reported that its fiscal third-quarter profit topped estimates by 14%. The maker of high-speed switches for data-storage networks said revenue quadrupled from a year earlier.

Bond yields fell for the first time in three days as traders snapped up longer-term debt before the Treasury Department repurchased $1.5 billion of bonds. The 30-year yield eased to 5.71% from 5.74%.

Among stocks on the move:

* Exxon Mobil gained $1.05 to $83.81, Royal Dutch Petroleum's U.S. shares rose $1.81 to $62.44 and Chevron added $1.73 to $87.19.

Oil companies got a boost from a report in a state-controlled Saudi newspaper that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries sees no need to raise production before the cartel's next meeting Sept. 10.

* Natural-gas stocks rose after Goldman Sachs said the companies will continue to benefit from high gas prices. Enron rallied $5.98 to $90 and Kinder Morgan advanced $3.44 to $37.44.

* In the financial sector, J.P. Morgan advanced $2.56 to $145 and Lehman Bros. Holdings jumped $11.06 to $137.44.

* Hewlett-Packard sank $12 to $108.88, as news that the company beat profit forecasts for the latest quarter and set a 2-for-1 stock split failed to erase analysts' concern about second-half earnings.

Elsewhere in tech, Sun Microsystems climbed $4.06 to a new high of $119.44 before saying it will split its stock 2-for-1 around Dec. 5 for holders of record Sept. 9.

PeoplePC fell $2.06 to $6.81 in its second day of trading.

Market Roundup, C7-8

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