Technology stocks closed out a wild week with huge gains Friday as the Nasdaq composite marched up 107 points to 4,064.49. Reassuring economic news propelled the Dow up 141 points to a record close of 11,722.98.
After week chalked full of news including the merger of AOL and Time Warner, Intel's blowout fourth-quarter earnings report and Bill Gates abdication from the CEO post at Microsoft, investors had plenty to chew on Friday.
Helping matters, the Consumer Price Index, rose just 0.2 percent in December, the Labor Department said, less than economists' had predicted. The report backed up news that prices at the producer level stayed low last month.
"The numbers were fabulous. The market loves a pleasant surprise," said Alfred Goldman, the technical analyst at A.G. Edwards and Sons. "You can almost hear the champagne corks being popped."
Intel Corp. (INTC) led the charge, surging up 12 to 103 1/16 after easily topping analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), which reports its earnings next week, shot up 2 3/16 to a 52-week high of 40 1/2.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) closed up 4 7/16 to 112 1/4 after the company named Steve Ballmer president and chief executive officer, replacing Bill Gates, who will step down after 25 years but will remain chairman and devote his time to developing new software.
Oracle Corp. (ORCL) ended up 1 3/4 to 106 13/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) finished up 3 1/8 to 106 13/16.
Motorola (NYSE: MOT) shares jumped 11 15/16 to 150 1/2 after Lehman Brothers raised its price target to $200 from $160 and added the company to its "1999/2000 Ten Uncommon Values List." In addition, PaineWebber increased its 2001 earnings-per-share estimate to $4.35 from $4.18 based on assumed higher growth rate for wireless phones and infrastructure and upped its price target to $196 from $146.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) rose 7/8 to 44; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) inched up 1/4 to 30 1/8; Gateway Inc. (GTW) tacked on 1/8 to 59 5/8 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed up 3 11/16 to 100 7/16.
Next Level Communications (Nasdaq: NXTV) gained 6 1/4 to 74 1/2 and Liberate Technologies (Nasdaq: LBRT) plunged 19 5/8 to 199 1/8 after they said they are teaming up to deliver interactive TV using DSL technology.
Calico Commerce (Nasdaq: CLIC) took back all the ground it had gained ahead of its quarterly report. It closed off 10 5/8 to 46 5/16 after the company topped estimates in its latest quarter.
Among leading Internet stocks, America Online Inc. (AOL) shed 2 1/2 to 63; Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) added 6 1/8 to 353; Lycos Inc. (LCOS) lost 1 3/8 to 73 1/2; Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) slid 1 11/16 to 64 ? and eBay Inc. (EBAY) dropped 3 7/16 to 134 3/8.