Market Watch

The Associated Press
Tuesday February 13, 2001

NEW YORK — Investors piled back into blue chip stocks Monday, sending the market broadly higher and reversing some of last week’s sharp declines. 

Traders were looking ahead to testimony Tuesday from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who has already eased some of Wall Street’s anxiety about the economy with two interest rate cuts this year. 

Ronald J. Hill, an investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York, said investors were hoping Greenspan would offer more hints of further interest rates cuts during his biannual assessment of the state of the economy before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. “My sense is that he’s going to stress that the economy needs more help to reaccelerate, setting the stage for additional rate reductions,” Hill said. “That’s the most important thing investors need to know.” 

The Fed twice lowered interest rates a half a percentage point during January, and further easing is anticipated. Most economists expect the rate reductions to boost economic growth in the second half of the year. 

Meanwhile, there was interest in biotech stocks as scientific magazines published for the first time the complete human genome map and sequence. The journal Nature is publishing the work of a public consortium, and the journal Science is publishing the sequence by Celera Genomics, a Rockville, Md., company. 

Shares of companies that specialize in telecommunications fiber-channel products fell sharply after U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray lowered its investment rating on Emulex to neutral because of lowered first-quarter earnings estimates. 

— The Associated Press 


Emulex plunged $37.13 to $40.38, while shares in QLogic Corp. plummeted $15.56 to $54.81, and shares in Brocade Communications Systems dropped $11.13 to $63. 

Financial and pharmaceutical stocks, which have been popular with buyers in search of stable investments, also were up, and there was some recovery in retail stocks. 

Federated Department Stores was up $2.35 at $43.50, while Kmart rose 32 cents to $8.74. Gap gained $1.01 cents to $28.01, and J.C. Penney rose 39 cents to $14.35. 

The gains marked a distinct reversal from last week, when bad news from a number of tech bellwethers including Lucent Technologies, Cisco Systems and Dell Computer led to a selloff that wiped out much of the Nasdaq’s gains from the month before. 

Advancing issues outnumbered losers by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 1.23 billion shares, down from 1.28 billion on Friday. 

The Russell 2000 index rose 8.30 to 505.35. 

Stocks closed higher in overseas trading. Japan’s Nikkei index rose 2.17 percent, while in London, the FT-SE 100 index gained 1.25 percent. Frankfurt’s DAX index was up 1.04 percent and in Paris, the CAC 40 index rose 0.82 percent. 


On the Net: 

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