Markets up on interest rate cut

U.S. stocks close on a high note, carried by the Fed's surprise quarter-percent cut in interest rates yesterday.

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Stocks closed higher today, carried by the Federal Reserve's surprise quarter-percent cut in interest rates yesterday, which fueled hope that the U.S. economy may not succumb to spreading global economic turmoil.

The Dow Industrial Average jumped up 117.4 points or 1.41 percent, to 8,416.76. With today's gain, the blue chip index posted the strongest one-week point gain in its history. The Dow was up 6.5 percent or 517.2 points for the week, and is at its highest point since August 26, when it had reached 8,523.35. Yesterday, the Dow rose 330 points, marking the third largest one-day gain in its history.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index also climbed higher today, rising 9.94 points or .62 percent to 1,620.95.

Despite those surges, however, technology stocks were unable to capitalize on the optimism.

The Nasdaq's two most actively traded stocks of the day were down, with Dell Computer dipping 2.37 percent to 56.69. BMC Software got hammered as well, falling 13.81 percent after influential investment banks downgraded the company's outlook on worries about a drop in its deferred revenues. Goldman Sachs reduced its outlook on BMC to "market outperform" from "recommended." Prudential Securities cut its rating on the company to "accumulate" from "strong buy."

Cisco System, Intel, and Microsoft were the third, fourth, and sixth most actively traded stocks in the Nasdaq market. Cisco fell 2.74 percent today, while Intel and Microsoft fell .96 percent and .36 percent, respectively. Intel today announced that it would invest $500 million in Micron Technology, whose stock rose 2.56 percent on the news.

Tellbas, the fifth most actively traded Nasdaq stock, climbed 6.1875 or 15.97 percent. The telecommunications equipment maker jumped higher after it raised its fourth-quarter earnings estimates.

Internet stocks, for their part, posted mixed results today.

Web portals Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek, and Lycos all fell. Yahoo shed 3.75 points or 3.14 percent; Excite lost 1.34 percent or .44 points; Infoseek fell 2.66 percent or .56 points, and Lycos dropped 7.44 percent or 2.25 points.

America Online and Preview Travel, two big gainers yesterday, dropped 3.49 percent and 9.46 percent, respectively.