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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted 1:35 p.m., Monday, May 21, 2001

Despite lack of news, markets end day high

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Wall Street went on a technology-buying spree today, despite the absence of any obvious catalyst, sending the Nasdaq composite index soaring more than 100 points and the Dow Jones industrials to their highest close in 16 months.

The rally was notable because it came on a day of no major earnings or economic data. Investors appeared to be buying solely on the expectation that better times are ahead and they will regret not buying now.

"There's an old saying on the Street: When you can move a market without news, that's the best news around," said Larry Wachtel, market analyst with Prudential Securities. "This market has been improving for two solid months, and what's happening is that all the money on the sidelines that's built up is barreling in. People are saying, 'I have to get in there.'"

The Nasdaq rose 106.68 to 2,305.56, according to preliminary calculations, the first time since August 2000 that the tech-dominated index has risen five straight sessions.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 36.18 at 11,337.92, adding to its three-day 428.77-point gain. The last time it closed that high was Jan. 20, 2000, when it was 11,351.30.

The blue chip index, which slipped briefly into bear market territory in March, has recovered to the point where it is now just 3.3 percent off its highest close ever, 11,722.98 reached Jan. 14, 2000. It also has a 5.1 percent gain so far this year.

And the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 20.87 at 1,312.83.

"The Nasdaq, by moving up, is confirming the strength we saw last week in the Dow," said Todd Clark, co-head of trading at W.R. Hambrecht. "We're actually a little overbought right now, but that's OK."

Sun Microsystems rose $2.40 to $22.37 on news of a new five-year, $200 million agreement with Eastman Kodak. Cisco Systems was up $2.67 at $22.87 on the release of a new product that allows traditional telephones to be used over the Internet.