Nasdaq climbs above 2,500; S&P; 500 also at new high; Dow industrials rise 77 points, to 9,358; Wall Street


NEW YORK -- Several major stock indexes set records yesterday, as a report showing a surprisingly big surge in economic growth spurred confidence in the corporate profit outlook.

The Nasdaq composite index topped 2,500 for the first time, rising 28.55, or 1.2 percent, to 2,505.89, and wrapped up its biggest monthly gain in 24 years.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 14.27, to 1,279.64, and the Wilshire 5,000 index jumped 104.04, to 11,724.83, both records. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 77.50, to 9,358.83.

International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. accounted for almost half of the Dow's gain.

The Russell 2,000 index of small-cap stocks climbed 3.25, to 427.22; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 0.93, to 714.86; and the Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks gained 1.11, to 191.61. The S&P; 400 midcap index slid 1.15, to 376.70.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by a 17-to-13 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange.

Computer makers gained after Dataquest Inc. reported that shipments of personal computers rose a greater-than-expected 15 percent last year. IBM rose $4.5625, to $183.25; Hewlett-Packard climbed $4.50, to $78.375; and Dell Computer Corp. jumped $5.8125, to a record $100.

Kellogg Co. fell $1.4375, to $40.625, after the world's largest cereal maker said fourth-quarter profit fell 41 percent, matching forecasts. Unilever NA, producer of Lipton tea and Good Humor ice cream, dropped $3.3125, to $76.50.

Amgen Inc., the world's biggest biotechnology company, climbed $8.25, to $127.8125, after reporting earnings of 90 cents a share, beating analysts' 84-cent estimate, as sales of its blockbuster anemia drug, Epogen, soared. Amgen got an extra boost because it's splitting its stock 2 for 1.

Northwest Airlines Corp. raised full and discount fares, a move that other carriers are expected to follow after more than a year of failed attempts, and its shares gained $4.125, to $27.375. Continental Airlines Inc. rose $3.375, to $34; UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines, gained $3.875, to 62.25; and AMR Corp., parent of No. 2 American Airlines, gained $4.25, to $58.75.

Tut Systems Inc. was yesterday's hot initial public offering. The company, which makes products that help provide high-speed access to the Internet and other networks over copper telephone lines, more than tripled in its first day of trading, gaining $39.50, to $57.50.

Shop At Home Inc., the third-largest U.S. home-shopping specialty retailer, jumped $5.25, to $17.125, after saying it would consider an acquisition offer from a broadcast competitor or Internet company.

Lycos Inc. rose $13.875, to $137. The third-largest Internet search service is seeking a partner that would take a stake of as much as 35 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. There was no immediate comment from Lycos. Inc., a broadcaster of conference calls and other programs on the Internet, fell $13, to $167, after agreeing to buy closely held NetRoadshow, which provides services for Internet companies going public, for $50 million in stock. also reported a fourth-quarter loss, before a charge, of 21 cents a share.

Starbucks Corp. added $3.125, to $52.0625, after the largest U.S. coffee retailer said sales at stores open at least a year rose a greater-than-expected 6 percent in January. The gain follows a disappointing 1 percent gain in same store sales for December, when the company had trouble selling noncoffee merchandise such as gift baskets and mugs.

Mercury Interactive Corp. gained $6, to $63.125, after the software company reported earnings of 47 cents, beating analysts' estimates. The company also said it is splitting its stock 2 for 1.

Pub Date: 1/30/99

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