Technology stocks led a broad-based rally Wednesday as calm returned to the market after two days of steep losses.
* Bond yields eased, helped by strong demand for new five-year Treasury notes. Gold plummeted.
Bargain hunters eagerly leaped into the market, finally reacting to the four-day slide that had clipped 96 points from the Dow industrials.
The Dow was in the plus column for most of the day and closed with a gain of 9.78 points, at 3,547.02.
But the blue-chip index’s rise understated the rally in the broad market. Winners topped losers by about 2 to 1 on the Big Board, on heavy volume of 289 million shares.
And in the Nasdaq market of mostly smaller stocks, the composite index rocketed 11.98 points, or 1.6%, to 745.54--not far from its all-time high of 749.71.
Investors appeared to quickly shake off concerns about Russia’s political turmoil, traders said.
More important, they said, strong earnings reports from some technology companies helped dissipate fears that third-quarter profits will be below expectations.
Among the market highlights:
* Technology stocks were boosted by a better than expected earnings report from software firm Oracle Systems, whose stock jumped 3 7/8 to 58 5/8.
Other tech gainers included Lotus Development, up 3 to 42; Sybase, up 5 5/8 to 62 5/8; Autodesk, up 2 3/4 to 48 1/2; Compaq, up 2 3/8 to 58, and Intel, up 2 to 67 1/4, its 1993 high.
* Entertainment stocks were broadly higher thanks to the bidding war for Paramount Communications. Paramount rose 7/8 to 77 7/8, Viacom A jumped 2 1/8 to 58 7/8, Time Warner added 1 1/2 to 42 3/8, Tele-Communications zoomed 1 5/8 to 25 3/4 and QVC Network soared 3 7/8 to 60.
* Brokerage stocks soared after Primerica said it may swallow insurer Travelers. Primerica leaped 1 3/8 to 47 3/8 and Travelers added 5/8 to 36 5/8. Also, Morgan Stanley shot up 3 7/8 to 87, Dean Witter soared 1 7/8 to 44 5/8 and Salomon added 1 1/8 to 48 3/4.
* Many industrial stocks that had been battered Tuesday rebounded somewhat. Alcoa added 1 1/4 to 68 1/8, Ingersoll-Rand jumped 1 3/8 to 37 7/8 and Chrysler gained 7/8 to 46 3/8.
* Golf equipment stocks were hot. Cobra Golf jumped 3 1/2 to 35 1/4 and Callaway Golf leaped 3 to 55 5/8. Both make clubs. Also, golf club grip maker Royal Grip went public at 12 per share. The stock will begin trading today on Nasdaq.
* Mexican construction giant Grupo Tribasa made its U.S. market debut at 15 1/2 each on the NYSE and closed unchanged.
In foreign markets, Russia’s troubles pushed Frankfurt’s DAX index down 32.85 points to 1,893.00. But London’s FTSE-100 index added 5.9 points to 3,007.5.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei index sank 292.03 points to 20,174.62. In Mexico City, the Bolsa index snapped a nine-day losing streak, rising 27.19 points to 1,802.41.
Bond yields finished lower across the board as buyers finally overwhelmed profit takers who had halted the market’s summer rally.
The 30-year Treasury bond yield closed at 6.09%, down from 6.12% on Tuesday and the first daily decline since Sept. 10.
Traders were encouraged by brisk demand for $11 billion in new five-year notes sold by the Treasury Department on Wednesday. The average yield on the notes was 4.83%--lower than the 4.87% that analysts had expected.
In other markets:
* Gold gave back the gains made Tuesday in the wake of Russia’s political crisis. On New York’s Comex, gold for current delivery plunged $9 to $353.90 an ounce after rising $9.40 on Tuesday.
Silver tumbled 14.7 cents to $4.05.
* Crude oil futures for November also reversed, off 39 cents to $17.59 a barrel on the New York Merc.
* The dollar eased, but retained most of its gains from Tuesday. In New York, the dollar settled at 106.18 Japanese yen and 1.630 German marks, down from 106.25 and 1.637 on Tuesday.
Market Roundup, D10