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Wall Street gains on tech, pharmaceuticals


by Elaine Frei
February 8, 2006

The New York equities markets were higher on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1 percent to 10,858.62, while Nasdaq also added 1 percent and the S&P 500 was up 0.9 percent, to 2,266.98 and 1,265.65 respectively.

Good news came in the form of possible bids in the pharmaceuticals sector and an optimistic guidance report from Cisco Systems, in the technology sector. Cisco gained 7.2 percent to $19.40 despite a report on Tuesday that second-quarter net profits fell 1.8 percent, when the company’s chief executive said that third-quarter sales would be up and reiterated the company’s 10 to 12 percent full-year revenue guidance.

Elsewhere in the technology sector, computer maker Dell gained 6.2 percent to $31.52 when Sanford Bernstein issued an upgrade from “market perform” to “outperform”. Additionally, Hewlett-Packard rose 5.4 percent to $32.01 and IMB gained 1.4 percent to $80.80. Meanwhile, semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials was up 3.1 percent to $20.10.

The pharmaceuticals sector received help from Pfizer’s announcement that it is considering selling it’s consumer products division, which manufactures products such as Listerine and Sudafed. On an estimate that the unit might be worth upwards of $10 billion, Pfizer’s shares were up 5.7 percent on the day to $26.37. Johnson & Johnson, which is seen as a potential bidder if Pfizer does decide to offer the unit for sale, gained 3.2 percent on the day to $58.60. Elsewhere in the sector, Procter & Gamble advanced 0.3 percent to $59.47.

On the other hand, General Motors received a downgrade from “hold” to “sell” from Deutsche Bank. This news made it the Dow’s biggest decliner of the day. GM lost 3.6 percent to $21.99.



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