Techs, IBM Near Highs

IT spending may not be rebounding, but investors continue to act like it’s just a matter of time.

The Nasdaq closed just below its recent high of 1888.7 on Tuesday, boosted by Federal Reserve comments that “spending is firming” and promises to leave interest rates low for a “considerable period.” IBM briefly touched a new 52-week high before pulling back to close just under it.

Despite continued concern about valuations and the shaky state of the IT spending rebound, stocks have continued to power higher, perhaps in anticipation that 2004 will finally see the long-awaited upturn in tech spending.

If the stock market lives up to its reputation as the ultimate leading indicator, the rally could be good news indeed.

The Nasdaq soared 41 to 1887, the S&P 500 rose 14 to 1029, and the Dow surged 118 to 9567. Volume rose to 1.37 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.79 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 23-9 on the NYSE, and 22-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 84% on the NYSE, and 84% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 173-13 on the NYSE, and 283-5 on the Nasdaq.

Redback soared 23% on a distribution deal in China.

Internet Security surged 8% on a deal with Ford Motor . Nortel bolted 8.4% on a pact with Sprint .

Sun rose 5% at the start of the SunNetwork conference.

Vignette gained 11% on an acquisition.

Corning rose 6% after exiting the VC business.

Qualcomm rose 3.3% despite mixed guidance.

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