Some flashy IPOs and a better-than-expected employment report put technology stocks into orbit again this week. With only a handful of earnings and financial reports due out next week, look for some sideways trading.
For the week the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 505 points to 10,367.20 while the Nasdaq composite shot up 323 points to a record high of 4,914.30.
Most of those gains came Friday after the February jobs report detailed a weakening labor market, with below-expectation job creation and a rise in the unemployment rate giving investors a reason to buy stocks.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm employment rose by a smaller-than-expected 43,000 in February while the jobless rate increased to 4.1 percent from 4.0 the previous month.
"It's the first sign that the economy is slowing to a much more sustainable pace," said High Johnson, the chief investment officer of First Albany Corp.
Perhaps the week's biggest story was Palm Inc.'s (Nasdaq: PALM) initial public offering.
After pricing at $38 a share Thursday, the stock soared up to a high of $165 before closing at 95 1/16. Its shares fell another 14 13/16 to 80 1/4 Friday.
Looking ahead to next week, traders will be watching from earnings reports from several Internet companies.
24/7 Media Inc. (Nasdaq: TFSM), the Internet advertising company, will report its fourth-quarter results next week.
First Call consensus expects it to lose 72 cents a share in the fourth quarter.
Last quarter, 24/7 Media beat Street estimates, posting a loss of $11.7 million, or 55 cents a share, on sales of $24.3 million.
Fatbrain.com Inc. (Nasdaq: FATB) will also release its fourth-quarter results with analysts looking for a loss of 82 cents a share.
Last quarter, Fatbrain.com lost $9.1 million on sales of $8.2 million.
Its shares closed off 11/16 to 17 3/4 Friday.