The Dow Jones industrial average blew past 8,000 Wednesday and the Nasdaq market posted its biggest point-gain ever as another flood of good news on company profits, inflation and interest rates whipped investors into another buying frenzy.
The Dow, which has now doubled in less than 2-1/2 years, rose 63.17 to 8,038.88 despite a steep selloff in the shares of Eastman Kodak, which issued a disappointing earnings report.
Aside from Kodak, the second-quarter profit picture grew even brighter Wednesday with strong results from the likes of General Motors, Ford Motor, Time Warner, American Airlines parent AMR, Lucent Technologies and Travelers Group.
But the biggest earnings news of the session came late Tuesday from Intel, whose better-than-expected results set off another scramble for big-name technology shares.
“People don’t want to be left out of this market,” said Larry Rice, chief investment officer at Josephthal, Lyon & Ross, cautioning that “this market is extremely overbought.”
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by more than a 2-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume was extremely heavy at 646.03 million shares as of 4 p.m., the fifth largest tally ever.
Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Wednesday:
Eastman Kodak, down 8-1/2 at 68-3/8.
Stung by a competition with Japanese rival Fuji, Eastman Kodak reported that its second-quarter profit slid 16 percent, coming in well below analyst forecasts.
General Motors, up 1/8 at 54-3/8.
Ford Motor, down 1-1/2 at 40-5/8.
Both automakers beat analyst estimates for their second-quarter results. GM’s second-quarter earnings rose 11 percent. while Ford Motor’s profits improved 33 percent from the same period a year ago, but Salmon Brothers and PaineWebber both downgraded the automaker’s stock, saying it had reached their price targets.
ITT, up 4-5/16 at 66-15/16.
In its biggest effort yet to repel a hostile takeover bid from Hilton Hotels, ITT announced plans to split into three separate companies consisting of its hotel and casino operations; its telephone directory business; and its technical schools.
Intel, up 7-11/32 at 88-1/4.
The chip maker reported late Tuesday a 58 percent improvement in its second-quarter profit. The results, as Intel warned in May, were weaker than those in the first quarter but just above analyst forecasts.
Cerner, up 5-1/4 at 26-3/4.
The designer of health care databases reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and was upgraded by two investment firms.
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