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Technology Shares Rally

Strength in benchmark computer-related issues and the Internet group's best performance in four weeks allowed Nasdaq stocks to steal the show Monday.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 60.51 points, or 2.6 percent, to 2,397.62. It's up 9.3 percent so far this year. The index was aided by a 5-point gain in Intel (INTC) to 119 5/8. The Federal Trade Commission and the semiconductor titan reached a proposed settlement over government charges that Intel illegally used bullying tactics to quell competition.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back 8.47 points, or 0.1 percent, to 9,727.61. On Friday, the index catapulted 268.68 points, or 2.8 percent, after a U.S. government report showed buoyant jobs growth and skimpy inflation in February. It was the Dow's best performance on a percentage basis since Oct. 15.

In Monday's market indicators:

  • The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.6 percent.
  • New York Stock Exchange advancing issues lagged decliners by 8 to 7.
  • On the Big Board floor, turnover slowed 15 percent to 709 million shares.
  • Declining issues led advancers by 5 to 4 in the Nasdaq Stock Market. Volume totaled 965 million shares.
  • The 30-year Treasury rose 4/32, to yield 5.596 percent.

    The Russell 2000 Index of small-company stocks gained 0.5 percent.

Among the companies in the news:
  • In the tech sector, Sun Microsystems was ahead 4 3/16 to 108 13/16, Gateway 2 to 71, and Cisco Systems 3 3/4 to 104 9/16. Among the best-acting computer-related bellwethers of recent weeks, EMC advanced 6 15/16 to 111 1/2 and MCI WorldCom tacked on 2 47/64 to 85 140/256.
  • Advanced Micro Devices moved up 1/2 to 18 15/16. After the close of Monday's activity, the manufacturer of microprocessors said it's on track to post an operating loss in the first quarter.
  • In cyberspace, eBay added 21 3/4 to 171. It's vaulted over 60 percent in the past seven sessions amid favorable analyst comments and a three-for-one stock split.
  • 7th (SEVL) soared 3 27/32, or 77 percent, to 8 216/256. On Friday, shares of the online tutorial service sprinted 82 percent after the company penned a deal with America Online (AOL) to offer Internet multimedia training to AOL members. 7th's will become an anchor tenant in AOL's Computing and WorkPlace Channels.
  • Allied Waste Industries (AW) will purchase Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) for $45 a share in cash plus the assumption of about $1.8 billion in debt. The total transaction amounts to $9.1 billion. Allied shares gained 1 15/16 to 16 15/16 and Browning stock added 4 1/8 to 38 7/8.
  • Diversified lender CIT Group (CIT) will acquire Canadian asset-based lender Newcourt Credit Group (NCT) in a stock transaction worth about $4.2 billion. CIT shares dipped 9/16 to 30 3/16 and Newcourt stock advanced 5/8 to 26 7/16.
  • American Bankers (ABI) put on 5 5/8 to 52. Brussels-based financial concern Fortis wilbuy the provider of credit-related insurance programs for $2.6 billion, or $55 a share.
  • BMC Software (BMCS) will buy Israel's New Dimension Software (DDDDF) for about $650 million in cash, or $52.50 a share. Both companies develop software for enterprise-level applications. BMC stock escalated 2 5/8 to 40 13/16 and New Dimension shares rose 2 7/16 to 51 3/8.
  • Novell (NOVL) rose 3 3/16 to 23 5/16. Barron's ran a feature story on the developer of networking software in its weekend edition.
  • Broadcom (BRCM) picked up 12 3/4 to 66 1/2. Northern Telecom's Nortel Networks unit will use the company's VDSL technology in its broadband access network. Additionally, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter fattened its view of Broadcom shares to "outperform" from "neutral." Broadcom produces integrated circuits that enable high-speed broadband communications.
  • VeriSign (VRSN) advanced 14 3/4 to 119. The provider of Internet security solutions received approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce to expand the sale of its 128-bit Global Server ID digital certificates to online merchants, healthcare and insurance organizations, and overseas subsidiaries of US corporations.