Santa Claus Rally Propels Stocks Higher
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Following a week of losses, stocks extended yesterday's modest upturn into a strong Santa Claus rally that powered both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index into triple-digit gains. And, in contrast to recent early-day rallies, stocks gained strength throughout the day, finishing near session highs.
For the day, the ISDEX (ISDEX) rose 48 points to close at 376, a gain of 14.5%. Fully 46 of the 50 ISDEX stocks traded higher, led by five stocks with gains exceeding 30 percent:
At Home Corp Ser A +43.8%,
Aether Technologies Inc +36.7%,
RealNetworks Inc, +35.4%,
Tibco Software Inc +30.8%
Juniper Networks Inc +30.5%,
Ten other ISDEX stocks gained near or better than 20 percent.
Both the Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average spurted to early triple-digit gains and added more late in the session after riding out a midday plateau. At the close, the Nasdaq Composite Index, gained 7.6% for the day, and closed up 177 points, above the psychological 2500 level, at 2517, albeit still just half its record level of more than 5000. The Dow Jones Industrial advanced 1.4% to close at 10635, ahead 148 points. The S&P 500 climbed 31 to peek above the 1300 level by just five points, closing at 1305.
Volume was strong for pre-holiday trading, 1.09 billion shares on the NYSE and 2.25 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led decliners by better than two to one on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. Up volume exceed down volume by more than three to one on the NYSE and by more than four to one on the Nasdaq. NYSE new highs outnumbered new lows by 211 to 91, but on the Nasdaq, looking at the whole market beyond the Composite Index, new lows still outpaced new highs by more than three to one, 340 to 91.
Some of the day's biggest beneficiaries on the Nasdaq included:
- Screamingmedia Inc (SCRM) was up 63.6% on news that it has entered into an agreement with RealNetworks, Inc., a leader in media delivery on the Internet. RealNetworks will use ScreamingMedia to provide digital content to 650 radio broadcasters using the Real Broadcast Networks streaming media services.
- IMRGlobal Corp (IMRS), which recently received a $15 million revolving credit agreement for three years with AmSouth Bankup, gained 58.2%
- Presstek, Inc. (PRST), a leading
provider of direct digital imaging technologies to the printing and publishing industry,
said today that management believes that the recent downturn in the company's stock price
is not reflective of the strength of the company's ongoing operations and future business
outlook. Presstek shares climbed 55.1% on the news.