A buying frenzy engulfed Wall Street Thursday as investors snapped up blue-chip and technology shares at a brisk clip. The Nasdaq composite rallied up 102 points to close at 4,205.60 while the Dow shot up 112 points to 11.215.10.
The sharp run-up comes ahead of Friday's much-anticipated employment report.
"The belief is that tomorrow's report will be benign ... and I think that will give people more confidence that the Fed is finished and the next move will even be down," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at Joseph Gunnar & Co.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) rallied up $1.94 to $68.50 after it acquired privately held PixStream in a $369 million stock swap.
Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) shed $1.19 to $41.81 after announcing it will spin off its $8 billion enterprise networks unit, Avaya Inc., by paying a special dividend to shareholders. Nortel Networks (NT) added $1.75 to finish at $81.75.
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) trimmed 19 cents to $69.81 after an analyst implied that the Supreme Court would soon decide whether to hear the company's antitrust suit.
Oracle (ORCL) gained $2.69 to $90.94 and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) closed off 19 cents to $126.94.
Convergent Group Corporation (Nasdaq: CVGP) shot up up $1.14 to $6 after it announced contracts worth over $100 million signed during its quiet period.
Yahoo! (YHOO) shaved off $1.75 to $121.50 while Amazon.com (AMZN) and America Online (AOL) lost $1.44 and 50 cents a share, respectively. Lycos (LCOS) picked up 88 cents to $71 and eBay (EBAY) tacked on 94 cents to $62.
Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) trimmed 6 cents to $14.56 after it said it will buy Pogo.com, an online games site aimed at the mass market, for an undisclosed amount.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) gained $3.69 to $43.63; Apple Computer (AAPL) added $1.44 to $60.94; Gateway (GTW) rose $2.25 to $68.10 and Compaq Computer (CPQ) picked up 81 cents to $34.06.
Intel (INTC) shot up $1.38 to $74.88 while Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and IBM (IBM) closed up $2.63 and $1.69 a share, respectively.