U.S. Stock Market Catches Its Breath

SAN FRANCISCO (04/17/2000) - The only blood on the streets this morning was from weekend rioting in Washington. The stock market was solidly up, with the Nasdaq and the Dow each gaining as much as 150 points by midmorning. The indexes settled down slightly by noon, but the Nasdaq was still up 57.98 to 3379.27, and the Dow was up 44.68 to 10350.45.

The gains offered investors a much-appreciated pause from last week's heavy losses. The Nasdaq rise offered special relief, as tech shares slowly moved to regain ground.

The morning rally occurred across the board, but leading companies were responsible for most of the gains. Sun Microsystems Inc., Intel Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp. confidently raised the Nasdaq this morning, each gaining 5 to 10 percent.

Internet high-fliers had slightly less to show for themselves, but they benefited from the rally, too. CMGI was up almost 9 percent, DoubleClick gained nearly 4 percent, and eBay was up 3 percent by midday.

Among the morning's biggest tech winners was VA Linux, which rose a full 20 percent to US$34.75.

The Dow was led by solid gains in Procter & Gamble and MCI WorldCom; each was up more than 5 percent. But tech performance on that exchange was mixed: IBM was up 5 percent, but Microsoft remained essentially flat at $74.62.

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