Wall Street closed out another wild week on a comparatively tame note Friday with the Dow Jones industrial average shaving off 35 points to 10,595.23. The Nasdaq composite closed up 81 points to end at 4,798.06.
The consumer price index, which measures inflation at the consumer level, climbed 0.5 percent in February, excluding food and energy costs. The gain was slightly higher than expected, though the overall increase was on target with forecasts of a 0.2 percent gain.
"I think that there seems to be an optimistic and bullish attitude, no matter what,'' said Trude Latimer, an independent stock strategist "I am frankly surprised that stocks are down as well as they are. I would have thought they would be a little tired by now."
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) finally joined in on the rally Friday, picking up 4 to 99 3/8. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) trimmed 2 1/8 to 79 13/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) rolled up 5 3/8 to 96 1/8.
On the IPO front, Netpliance (Nasdaq: NPLI) moved up 4 1/16 to 22 1/16 in its debut.
Universal Access (Nasdaq: UAXS), a telecommunications company that buys and sells unused network capacity, gained 23 to 37 in heavy trading.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) gained 1 7/16 to 56 7/16; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) rose 5/16 to 29 15/16; Gateway Inc. (GTW) tacked on 2 15/16 to 58 15/16 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed up 3 7/16 to 125.
Intel Corp. (INTC) moved up 4 13/16 to 129 7/8 while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and IBM Corp. (IBM) each gained 15/16 to finish at 50 1/8 and 109 15/16, respectively.
Telecommunications chipmaker Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC) stormed up 19 to 266 1/16 following an upgrade from Merrill Lynch.
OSI Systems (Nasdaq: OSIS) rose 13 3/16 to 24 1/16 on news that the company had developed a silicon-based fiber optic detector, which can achieve a 2.5 Gigabit per second data rate.
Among widely held Internet stocks, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) rose 15/16 to 171 1/8; America Online Inc. (AOL) pushed up 2 5/8 to 64 5/8; Lycos Inc. (LCOS) added 15/16 to 71 and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) finished off 1 7/16 to 64 13/16.