Stocks Catch Holiday Fever

Stocks caught patriotic fever on Friday, rising on high volume ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

The ISDEX gained 13 to 744 and the Nasdaq powered ahead 88 to 3966. The Dow rose 49 to 10,447, while the S&P 500 gained 12 to 1454. But the NYSE declined 1 to 641. Volume soared almost 30% to 1.39 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose more than 15% on the Nasdaq to 1.79 billion shares. However, more than 300 million shares were traded on both exchanges in the last 10 minutes of trading because of S&P and Russell index rebalancing. Breadth was even on the NYSE, while advancing issues led 22 to 18 on the Nasdaq. The markets will close at 1 p.m. on Monday.

Broadcom gained 11 15/16 to 216 11/16 ahead of its addition to the S&P 500.

Yahoo! gained 4 1/2 to 123 13/16. The stock had fallen after announcing that it will acquire e-mail platform provider EGroups. The acquisition is expected to dilute third quarter and 2000 earnings by 2 cents per share.

Intraware fell 2 3/4 to 16. The company beat analyst expectations after the close on Thursday, but Banc of America downgraded the stock to Buy from Strong Buy based on cash burn concerns. Liberate soared 4 1/8 to 27 15/16 on better-than-expected numbers. The infrastructure software company is 47% owned by Oracle .

Verio fell 4 1/64 to 55 15/32 on concern that Japan’s NTT Communications might not extend its tender offer for the company. NTT cleared that up by saying it will extend the offer until July 14. But the stock also ran into trouble on news that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment will investigate Internet security issues surrounding the deal. NTT said it believes the deal doesn’t raise national security issues and may close the deal before the probe is finished.

E.piphany soared 10 5/16 to 104 3/8 on news that CS First Boston expects the company to exceed estimates when it reports earnings next month.

Communication Intelligence soared 1 15/32 to 4 1/2 after President Clinton signed the electronic signature act into law.

USABanc.com gained 11/16 to 4 1/16 on news that Palm has selected the bank’s wireless banking application for Palm users.

iBasis declined 2 15/16 to 43 1/16 on a Kaufman Brothers downgrade from Buy to Accumulate, based on valuation.

Check Point Software , a leader in the Nasdaq’s and ISDEX’s recent advance, gained 3 9/16 to 213 5/8 after announcing a 2-for-1 stock split, payable July 25.

USinternetworking gained 13/16 to 20 7/16 after First Analysis Securities initiated coverage with a Strong Buy and $37 price target, citing the company’s strong business model.

The IPO of Storage Networks priced at 27, opened at 92, and closed at 89 after rising as high as 102. But the IPO of Chinese portal Netease.com received a lukewarm reception, falling to 12 after pricing at 15 1/2.

CDNow gained 3/8 to 3 3/16 on word that the company is continuing discussions to find an investment or merger partner.

Jupiter and Media Metrix recovered from the sell-off that followed their recent merger announcement, rising 3 7/16 to 23 1/6 and 3 13/16 to 25 1/2, respectively.

Netro gained 7 7/16 to 57 1/4 on news of an alliance with Cisco .

Some technical comments on the market: The Dow broke another bearish flag pattern to the downside this morning, but found support at 10,336, its bottom of last week. The index has room to about 10,600 if today’s rally continues, but has encountered resistance above that level. Again, 10,400 is the lower boundary of the Dow’s bearish “diamond” pat

tern, but must be broken by 3% on rising volume to be considered definitively broken. The upper diamond boundary is just above 10,700. The index has support in the 10,200-10,300 range, the lower boundary of its bearish descending triangle. As of yesterday, we’ve had five days of selling on higher volume in the last 10 days on the NYSE, a sign that the pros are selling. The Nasdaq has had fewer of these “distribution” days, but nonetheless is vulnerable to further selling until it can get above 4000 and take out 4073. It could get back above 4000 on Monday, but first it must take out 3975, last week’s peak. The Nasdaq negated its bearish flag pattern yesterday and has now flashed a MACD buy signal, but caution is advised. Recent support on the index is 3832-3838, but key support is 3725 and 3585. The S&P 500 also is forming a diamond in the weekly charts, with upper and lower boundaries of 1480 and 1370, respectively. Both the S&P and the Dow still have MACD sell signals in the 60-minute charts. The ISDEX is holding up very well and remains above important support of 700; a clean break of that number would give the ISDEX room to 600, while a close above 790 would be bullish.

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