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Stocks End Week With Whimper; Yields Soar

March 25, 2000|From Times Wire Services

Stocks ended a dramatic week in mundane fashion Friday, closing narrowly mixed, but Treasury yields soared on interest rate concerns.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 22.42 points, or 0.5%, to 4,963.03; the Standard & Poor's 500 inched up 0.11 point to 1,527.46, its fourth-straight record close; and the Dow Jones industrial average dipped 7.14 points, or 0.1%, to 11,112.72.

The S&P's 4.3% gain for the week erased its year-to-date decline, leaving the index 4% higher in 2000. The Dow's 4.9% weekly gain pared its loss this year to 3.3%. The Nasdaq's 3.4% advance extended its gain for the year to 22%.

In Friday's bond trading, Treasury yields spiked on speculation that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates more than a quarter-point by May to cool growth, adding to its five rate increases since last June. The long-bond yield leaped to 5.99% from 5.91% the day before.

Fed officials "are not seeing any effect of what they've done so far, and now there's a groundswell of concern about an intra-meeting" rate increase or a half-point rise at the May 16 session, said William Stevens of Montgomery Asset Management in San Francisco.

In commodity trading, crude oil rose almost 3% on signs that new OPEC production targets, to be set Monday, will be too low to meet second-quarter demand and rebuild world inventories.

Among the equity highlights:

* IBM gained $5.38 to $120.63 as the computer maker is poised to unveil chips for TV set-top boxes that let viewers scan the Web.

* Commerce One jumped $18.69 to $223.69 as Boeing and the software maker are set to launch an Internet trading exchange for aircraft parts with several other companies, sources said. Boeing added 88 cents to $36.

* Deltathree.com dived $11.50 to $18 as the provider of over-the-Net phone service said Chief Executive Amos Sela will join RSL Communications and be replaced by co-founder Noam Bardin.

* Eidos' U.S. shares plunged $4 to $6.13 as the maker of video games said sales of new products are slower than anticipated.

* 3M climbed $3.88 to $90.88 as the manufacturing company was reiterated "outperform" by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, whose analyst said the value of the company's telecom and disk-drive businesses is "unrecognized" by investors.

Other companies getting Wall Street pushes included Tiffany, up $3.94 to $78 as the jeweler was reiterated "buy" at Robertson Stephens.

United Parcel Service gained $4.13 to $63.75 after being rated "buy" in new coverage by William Blair & Co.

Applied Materials rose $4.38 to $106.81 as the maker of chip equipment was reiterated "buy" at Warburg Dillon Read.

* The online brokerage sector continued its upward trend, as E-Trade Group rallied $4.13 to $32 after being reiterated "strong buy" at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. Charles Schwab gained $3.75 to $65.

Web-based investment bank Wit Capital Group rose $4.88 to $21.44 after saying it will post its first profitable quarter.

* Traditional financial-services firms also rose, with Merrill Lynch up $3.81 to $113.75 and Lehman Bros. Holdings up $3.69 to $105.44.

* Among Southland stocks, GoTo.com rocketed $11.98 to $48.11 after saying it expanded its marketplace to include more than 25,000 advertisers and more than 20 million unique users during March.

* Homestore.com jumped $12.19 to $47.81 as the online property registry said GM's finance arm will pay an additional $10 million to market its services on the site.

* Tyco International rose $2.63 to $52 after detailing plans to sell a 20% stake in its wireless semiconductor unit to the public.

* Brunswick rallied $3.13 to $19.50 after an appeals court reversed a $133-million judgment against the maker of recreational goods.

* Among new offerings, Intermune Pharmaceuticals (ticker symbol: ITMN) rose $5 to $25 and chip developer Silicon Laboratories (SLAB) leaped $38.38 to $69.38.

Market Roundup, C4

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