Internet stocks led technology issues to a strong finish Wednesday.
The Nasdaq Composite Index soared 51.58 to 2172.56, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 157.57 to 9202.03.
After rising early on news that it will become part of the Standard & Poor's 500, America Online [AOL] dropped in the afternoon, though it recovered to close regular trading at 138 1/4, up 1/4. It was the most active stock on U.S. markets.
Zapata [ZAP] shares rose 6 13/16 to 14. The food-products company said it would revive its Internet strategy, which it abandoned earlier this year during a market downturn.
Multiple Zones [MZON] advanced 44 9/16 to 56 after the online seller of computer products rolled out an auction site.
Abovenet [ABOV] gained 8 7/8 to 25 3/4. The company recently announced it would provide co-location and connectivity service between eight Pacific Rim ISPs.
CDnow [CDNW] rose 5 1/2 to 26 1/4 . Time Warner has talked to the online music retailer about a possible investment, according to ZDnet.
Investors suddenly rediscovered some recent IPOs. Internet America [GEEK] rose 16 1/4 to 31. Creative Computers [MALL], whose uBid subsidiary recently went public, went up 12 49/64 to 59 11/16.
Intel [INTC] increased 5 15/16 to 125. Merrill Lynch, which had been pessimistic on the chip giant for several months, upgraded the stock to near-term accumulate from neutral.
Computer-related resellers and distributors were an exception to the Wednesday market rally. The sector was routed after Ingram Micro and Inacom each warned of lower-than-expected sales. Ingram Micro [IM] retreated 12 5/16 to 33 15/16, Inacom [ICO] went down 3 3/4 to 15 3/8, and Tech Data [TECD] dropped 6 9/16 to 34 15/16.
Microage [MICA] slid 2 1/8 to 14 7/8, and CompUSA [CPU] slipped 1/16 to 11 11/16. A notable exception to the reseller carnage was Micro Warehouse [MWHS], up 5 1/8 to 34 3/4.
Oracle [ORCL] went up 1 3/4 to 41 11/16. CEO Larry Ellison, speaking in Australia, predicted a healthy future for his company, because Oracle dominates large e-commerce sites.
Systems & Computer Technology [SCTC] went down 3 13/16 to 12 3/16. The maker of enterprise software for local government, education, utilities, and manufacturing said it wasn't sure if it would a secure a large order it had been counting on.
Exabyte [EXBT] fell 11/16 to 5 13/16. The maker of tape storage drives said it expects to lose 8 cents to 13 cents a share in the fourth quarter. First Call's survey of 3 analysts predicted a profit of 4 cents.
Among other active technology stocks, Compaq [CPQ] rose 13/16 to 43 1/2, Dell [DELL] gained 3 9/16 to 75 7/16, and Apple [AAPL] climbed 1 13/16 to 39 13/16.