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Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Dow off 79;
Nasdaq hits record

Associated Press


NEW YORK -- A huge rally in technology stocks today pushed the Nasdaq composite index to its biggest one-day point gain ever -- but offered no help to the big industrial stocks.

The technology-focused Nasdaq composite closed up 168.21, or 3.84 percent, at a record 4,550.33, just beating its previous record close of 4,548.87 Thursday. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average, which seesawed in and out of positive territory late in the session, ended down 79.11 at 10,225.73. The S&P 500 rose 8.52 to 1,360.6. About three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,756 decliners, 1,235 advancers and 481 unchanged. Big board volume totaled 979.74 million, vs. 976.86 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite index slipped 1.49 tp 588.63; the American Stock Exchange composite index gained .53 to 934.99; and the Russell 2000 gained 8.9 points to end at 549.91. The 30-year Treasury bond fell for the first time in four days, dropping 14/32, or $6.88 per $1,000 face amount; its yield rose 4 basis points to 6.12 percent.

Demand for tech stocks returned today after Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan told a congressional committee that high stock prices weren't driving the Fed's interest rate policy. America Online and Time Warner rose and were two of the most active NYSE stocks. The two stocks had fallen after announcing their planned merger last month. But the stocks rebounded today after Merrill Lynch issued a positive report on the companies.

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