Stocks Soar In Broad Advance

Stocks rose across the board on strong volume Thursday, as the Nasdaq put in its best August in a decade, up 11%. Traders cheered signs of a slowing economy.

The ISDEX , left out of the rally initially, gained 13 to 838, and the Nasdaq soared 102 to 4206. The S&P 500 climbed 15 to 1517, and the Dow surged 112 to 11,215, gaining back the ground it lost yesterday. Blue chips gave back much of their gains by the close, however, which came largely on a huge gain in JP Morgan, but the Nasdaq and ISDEX finished at their highs. Volume soared to 1.06 billion shares on the NYSE and 1.88 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17 to 11 on the NYSE and 24 to 16 on the Nasdaq. Traders cheered much weaker than expected Chicago Purchasing Managers and factory orders reports. Tomorrow is the August jobs report. Analysts expect a loss of 20,000 jobs and a 4.0% unemployment rate. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our new after hours trading site.

Broadcom staged an impressive rally, gaining 10 35/64 to 248 63/64 after trading as low as 228 3/4 on news that Intel was filing a patent infringement suit against the company.

Infrastructure plays were strong on positive comments from CIBC World Markets. Extreme Networks gained 8 3/4 to 93, Foundry Networks added 7 7/16 to 93 1/2, and Redback Networks rose 12 to 149. Juniper Networks , which is being added to the S&P 500 next Thursday, rose 10 1/16 to 213 15/16.

Yesterday’s winners, B2B stocks, were mixed. PurchasePro lost 1 7/16 to 57 3/4 after trading as high as 64 3/8 on a Lehman Brothers Outperform rating and comments that the company was undervalued relative to its peers. Commerce One gave back 3/4 to 62 1/2. But i2 added 7/16 to 169 3/16, and Ariba gained 4 7/8 to 157 3/8.

InfoSpace added 1 7/8 to 38 1/2 on news that it is one of the top picks of the Munder NetNet Fund.

Akamai rose 1 1/2 to 74 on a Wit SoundView Buy rating and $85 price target.

viaLink climbed 1 3/16 to 9 3/4 after PepsiCo said it would use the company’s e-commerce services. gained 3/4 to 6 7/16 on an expanded alliance with Office Depot. slipped 1/16 to 17 5/16 despite beating earning estimates by 10 cents with a 19-cent loss.

Japan’s NTT Communications announced that it had acquired 95.6% of Verio , off 1/16 to 59 7/8, for $60 a share. The deal is expected to close at the end of September.

Yahoo continued to show weakness on revenue concerns, down 1 3/4 to 121 1/2.

Some technical comments on the market: The Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 look good here, with one caveat: the Nasdaq 100 has virtually no downside from here (4077). The Nasdaq 100 is just above the upper boundary of its bearish rising wedge, and much of a decline would take it back into the pattern. The Nasdaq broke out of its rising wedge to the upside this morning and broke its downtrend line, and the Nasdaq 100 crossed the critical 4000 area. Again, all positives for the market to build on. The ISDEX is still about 25 points from its upper rising wedge boundary. To the downside, we want to stay above 800 on the ISDEX, 3960 on the Nasdaq 100, and 4070 on the Nasdaq, the respective lower wedge boundaries. Again, as we’ve said, the Nasdaq 100 seems to be the more important index to watch here.

But the blue chips look a little weaker here. The Dow, S&P 500 and the S&P 100 negated the

ir rising wedge breakdowns this morning. But by the close, the S&P 100 was back below its lower wedge boundary, and the Dow and S&P 500 can’t move much to the downside without doing the same. The Dow continues to struggle with its April secondary high of 11,287, and the S&P 500 continues to get nervous around its all-time closing high of 1527, turning back at 1525 today. The market’s ability to negate these bearish patterns is a real positive, but by falling back into them, the blue chips are beginning to look like they may just lack direction. Next week the traders come back in force and earnings warning season begins, so we should know more soon.

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