RealTime IT News

Stocks Start Q2 With a Bang

A day after ending their worst quarter in nearly six years, stocks got the second quarter off to its best start in 70 years.

Strong demand for a Lehman convertible offering eased worries that the investment firm could be the next to implode after Bear Stearns, and manufacturing and construction readings that weren't as bad as feared raised hopes that the economy could be stabilizing.

Yahoo was one of the few laggards in the tech sector, falling 1.5% after Microsoft once again refused to raise its offer for the company — although a Wall Street Journal report suggested that Microsoft could raise its bid if Yahoo agrees to a formal negotiation.

A long list of technology names posted gains of 4% or more, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Research In Motion, Oracle, Amazon, eBay, Baidu, VMware, Broadcom, Nvidia, SanDisk and Symantec. Intel and Cisco investors had to make do with 3.7% gains.

RIM will report earnings Wednesday after the market close, while Micron was up only fractionally ahead of its earnings report due out at the same time. eBay and Google benefited from positive comments from Goldman Sachs, and Akamai gained 9% on upgrades. Palm climbed 8.6% on strong Centro sales.

Dell rose 2% on cost-cutting moves that include the closure of its Austin, Texas plant, and IBM added 1% despite a temporary ban from government business for possible violations of procurement rules.

The Nasdaq soared 83 to 2362, the S&P surged 47 to 1370, and the Dow soared 391 to 12,654. Volume rose to 4.76 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.18 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 28-5 margin on the NYSE, and 22-7 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 90% on the NYSE, and 90% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 30-21 on the NYSE, and 48-99 on the Nasdaq.