Market Close: Techs recover

3 min read

A positive jobs report for May helped carry stocks higher Friday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index reversed its decline of the last few days as it gained 74.94 to 2478.26. The @100 Index advanced 117.33 to 4627.50, and the @Net Index rose 13.22 to 289.98. The S&P 500 increased 27.86 to 1327.40, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 136.15 to 10799.84.

The government reported that the economy created 11,000 non-farm jobs in May, which was far less than the increase of 216,000 that most economists had expected. While the jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in April, the average hourly earnings, a closely watched gauge of wage inflation, jumped 5 cents.

Analysts said the report gave Wall Street mixed signals about the Fed's interest-rate policy. "The strong demand growth and an increasingly tight labor market -- reflected in the declining unemployment rate and accelerating average hourly earnings -- point to a Fed tightening move at the upcoming meeting on June 29 and 30," said David Jones, chief economist at Aubrey G. Lanston & Co.

Shares of Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS) gained 1/8 to 13 15/16 after the company announced the co-founder Craig Benson's resignation from his chairman and CEO positions. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) climbed 6 1/16 to 114 7/8 and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) gained 2 7/8 to 62 3/8.

Online investment bank Wit Capital Group Inc.'s (Nasdaq: WITC) IPO rose 5 7/8 to 14 7/8, in its inaugural trading day. The company priced its 7.6 million share offering Thursday night at 9, the high end of its range.

High Speed Access Corp. (Nasdaq: HSAC) also enjoyed a comfortable first day, rising 7 3/8 to 20 3/8. Shares for its 13 million-share offering priced at $13 a share last night.

Some smaller fish didn't fare as well as Wit. Network Access Solutions Corp. (Nasdaq: NASC) shares rose just 1/16 to 12 1/16 in its first day trading. Shares of the issue priced at $12 a share, below the range of $14 and $16.

Online Resources & Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ORCC) inched up 1/16 to 14 1/16 after the banking services software company opened at 15 1/16. The 3.1 million-share offering priced at $14 a share, the top of its range.

F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), which priced at the low end of its range at $10 a share, made modest gains as well. Shares opened at 10 1/4 and closed regular trading at 14 7/8.

Not all contact with the Internal Revenue Service is a bad thing. Beyond.com Inc. (Nasdaq: BYND) rose 4 13/16 to 22 1/4, after landing at $120 million contract with the government agency.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), also a part of the IRS contract, rose 3 3/16 to 79 9/16. Computer Associates International Inc. (NYSE: CA) gained 1 11/16 to 49 15/16 and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) added 1 3/16 to 28 11/16.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 11/16 to 33 7/8. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) climbed 3 9/16 to 62 1/8.

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) added 2 11/16 to 53 3/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) rose 1/8 to 17 15/16.