Blue-chip and technology stocks battled to slight gains Monday as the Nasdaq composite tacked on 23 points to 3,953.13. The Dow Jones industrial average moved up 33 points to close at 11,079.81.
Monday's uneven trading was expected ahead of Tuesday's Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates. While most analysts expect the Fed won't hike interest rates again this time, investors will be on the lookout for the Federal Open Market Committee's stance on inflation and more hikes down the road.
"The market does not appear to be too pooped to pop," said Alan Ackerman, senior vice president and market strategist at Fahnestock & Co. "The Fed meeting tomorrow should eliminate some of the uncertainty that has kept the market within a reasonably light trading range. I think the rates will remain unchanged."
Chip stocks made decent gains after Lehman Brothers raised its estimates on Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), up 1 1/2 to 72 1/16, saying the company's third quarter is looking good. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lost 2 to 68 1/4.
Brocade Communications (Nasdaq: BRCD) wasn't discouraged by a bearish report Monday. Its shares jumped 1/2 to 210 9/16.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer (DELL) was unchanged at 38 3/4; Gateway (GTW) closed off 1 1/8 to 62 1/4; Apple Computer (AAPL) inched up 1/2 to 50 1/2 and Compaq (CPQ) shares finished unchanged at 33 1/8.
Clearnet Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CLNT) shot up 13 to 44 on news it is being acquired in a deal that will create Canada's largest wireless company.
Yahoo! (YHOO) gained 5 1/4 to 130 7/16. America Online (AOL) rose 1 3/4 to 56 5/8 while eBay (EBAY) and Lycos (LCOS) rose 1 1/8 and 1/4 a share, respectively. Amazon.com (AMZN) closed down 1 1/2 to 37 1/2.
Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU) gained 1/8 to 6 3/8 after announcing it has formed a marketing alliance with 24/7 Media Asia, a subsidiary of Chinadotcom Corp. (Nasdaq: CHINA).
Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS) picked up 1 to 35 3/4 after announcing it will acquire Indus River Networks in a move designed to beef up Cabletron's Enterasys Networks division.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) gained 2 to 65 1/2. Lucent Technologies (LU) and Nortel Networks (NT) lost 5/8 and 1 1/2 a share, respectively.
Microsoft (MSFT) shaved off 3/8 to 70 5/8. Oracle (ORCL) finished up 1 7/8 to 83 3/16 and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) closed off 5/16 to 122 1/16.