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Technology Shares Help Stem Market Pullback

Associated Press

Bargain hunters began nibbling at battered technology stocks on Monday after several days of profit-taking, helping snap a broadmarket slump and boost blue-chip measures back toward record levels.

The Dow Jones industrial average shrugged off an early 26-point deficit and then rallied into the close, jumping back above the 7,000-mark to close at 7,008.20, up 76.58. About half of that advance came from big gains by Philip Morris and IBM.

Broader measures also turned higher in the morning as several computer-industry bellwethers started to rebound from last week’s selloff, helping the technology-laden Nasdaq market end a five-session losing streak.

“It doesn’t take more than a few days or a few hours and the bull trend reasserts itself,” said Robert Stovall, president of Stovall/Twenty-First Advisers. “Even though there was no big news, investors seem to like the environment again and back up we go.”

The Dow closed above 7,000 for the first time less than two weeks ago and set a new high at 7,067.46 last Tuesday before stumbling about 140 points over the next two sessions.

Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday:

NYSE

Security-Connecticut, up 7-7/8 at 45-3/8.

Minneapolis-based ReliaStar Financial agreed to acquire the insurer in a deal valued at $488 million, including $75 million in assumed debt. Each Security-Connecticut share is to be swapped for ReliaStar stock valued at $47.

NASDAQ

Pixar Animation Studios, up 6-7/8 at 21.

The computer-animation studio is negotiating to lift its share of profits from the movies it makes for Disney, The New York Times reported. Pixar, which made the hit “Toy Story” for Disney in 1995, has been getting 10 percent to 15 percent of the profits from its Disney contract, The Times said. Pixar, based in Richmond, Calif., is pushing to get 30 percent to 40 percent in the future.

Republic Industries, up 1-1/4 at 35-1/8.

Continuing a buying spree to develop its AutoNation USA chain of car dealerships, Republic agreed to buy Kendall Toyota of Miami and Joe Myers Automotive Group of Houston for $75 million of stock. Republic, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a diversified company headed by H. Wayne Huizenga with interests in the automotive, solid-waste and electronic security industries.

AMEX

Skyline Chili, down 1-5/16 at 7-11/16.

The restaurant chain, based in Fairfield, Ohio, announced late Friday that it has rejected an unsolicited offer to buy or take control of the company. The unaffiliated bidder, which Skyline did not identify, offered several alternatives that would value Skyline’s stock at about $7.50 a share.

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