COMMENTARY

Another up week for stocks, but the real action was in the tech-heavy NASDAQ

composite index, which jumped 2.9% for the week vs. a 0.2% gain for the Dow

Industrials. The big boys on the NASDAQ block, Microsoft and Intel, were both

flying high. Microsoft rose more than 7 points, to 98 7/8, while Intel surged

more than 9 points, to 84 1/16. The reason: The earnings outlook for both

companies is robust. The NASDAQ index is up 22% since the beginning of the

year, 6 percentage points above the gain in the Dow or the S&P 500.

STOCKS

      
                                                    % change
      U.S. MARKETS                  Latest     Week       Year
      Dow Jones Industrials         9176.7     0.2        34.7
      NASDAQ Combined Composite     1917.6     2.9        56.3
      S&P MidCap 400                380.7      0.9        51.5
      S&P SmallCap 600              205.8      0.9        50.7
      S&P SuperComposite 1500       242.5      1.0        46.8
      
                                                  % change
      SECTORS                       Latest     Week       Year
      Bloomberg Information Age     354.8      4.5        52.4
      S&P Financials                139.7      -0.4       63.7
      S&P Utilities                 241.7      -1.6       32.1
      PSE Technology                360.7      2.6        49.3
      
                                                   % change
      FOREIGN MARKETS             Latest       Week      Year
      Frankfurt (DAX)             5360.7       -0.5      57.9
      Tokyo (NIKKEI 225)          15,761.5     -3.3      -15.9
      Hong Kong (Hang Seng)       10,977.5     -3.5      -13.6
      Toronto (TSE 300)           7822.3       0.1       33.2
      Mexico City (IPC)           5164.7       3.5       35.0
      
                                                      Week     Year
      FUNDAMENTALS                      Latest        ago      ago
      S&P 500 Dividend Yield            1.38%         1.45%    1.90%
      S&P 500 P/E Ratio (Last 12 mos.)  26.9          27.7     19.9
      S&P 500 P/E Ratio (Next 12 mos.)* 22.2          21.9     16.2
      First Call Earnings Surprise*     2.88%         2.88%    3.64%
      
                                                       Week
      TECHNICAL INDICATORS              Latest         ago       Reading
      S&P 500 200-day average           978.6          973.0     Positive
      Stocks above 200-day average      65.0%          65.0%     Neutral
      Options: Put/call ratio           0.47           0.64      Negative
      Insiders: Vickers Sell/buy ratio  3.09           2.79      Negative
      
      BEST-PERFORMING          Last                                   Last 12
      GROUPS                   month%                                 months%
      Gold Mining              28.9       Broadcasting                125.7
      Restaurants              16.4       Homebuilding                121.5
      Communications Equip.    15.6       Communications Equip.       105.0
      Computer Systems         13.3       Specialty Appar. Retailers  98.1
      Computer Software        13.1       Personal Loans              94.8
      
      WORST-PERFORMING         Last                                  Last 12
      GROUPS                   month%                                months%
      Commercial Systems       -16.0      Metals                     -25.7
      Food Chains              -10.2      Engineering & Constr.      -15.0
      Tobacco                  -10.1      Shoes                      -11.2
      Engineering & Constr.    -8.4       Tobacco                    -7.4
      Hotels & Motels          -6.8       Photography/Imaging        -4.6
      
      BLOOMBERG MONEY FLOW ANALYSIS
      
      Rebound ahead?  Stocks with most                          1-month
      significant buying on price weakness    Price             change
      Oracle                                  27 9/1 6          -2 1/2
      AT&T                                    63 3/8            -2 9/16
      Telebras-ADR                            125 3/4           -8 1/8
      Lockheed Martin                         113 1/2           -3 1/8
      Household International                 131 7/8           -8 3/8
      Teleport Communications Group           57 3/8            -7/8
      
      Decline ahead?  Stocks with most                          1-month
      significant selling on price strength   Price              change
      Microsoft                               94 7/8            11
      Pfizer                                  116 3/16          19 15/16
      WorldCom                                43 5/8            1/16
      Intel                                   78 15/16          3 27/32
      Dell Computer                           74 3/8            12 1/8
      Cisco Systems                           73 7/8            9 1/8
      
      Data: Bloomberg Financial Markets; *First Call Corp.
      
      INTEREST RATES
      
                                   Latest     Week     Year
      KEY RATES                    week%      ago%     ago%
      MONEY MARKET FUNDS           5.10       5.10     5.06
      90-DAY TREASURY BILLS        5.07       5.08     5.37
      6-MONTH BANK CDS             5.08       5.08     5.22
      1-YEAR TREASURY BILLS        5.39       5.38     6.00
      10-YEAR TREASURY NOTES       5.67       5.60     6.89
      30-YEAR TREASURY BONDS       5.96       5.89     7.09
      LONG-TERM AA INDUSTRIALS     6.55       6.47     7.61
      LONG-TERM BBB INDUSTRIALS    7.01       6.92     7.94
      LONG-TERM AA TELEPHONES      6.80       6.73     7.84
      
      BLOOMBERG MUNI YIELD EQUIVALENTS
      Taxable equivalent yields on AAA-rated, tax-exempt municipal bonds,
      assuming a 31% federal tax rate.
      
                                10-yr. bond         30-yr. bond
                              Latest    Last      Latest      Last
                               week     week       week       week
      GENERAL OBLIGATIONS     4.48%     4.45%     5.08%       5.05%
      PERCENT OF TREASURIES   78.88     79.60     85.18       85.90
      TAXABLE EQUIVALENT      6.49      6.45      7.36        7.32
      INSURED REVENUE BONDS   4.64      4.61      5.29        5.25
      PERCENT OF TREASURIES   81.70     82.46     88.70       89.30
      TAXABLE EQUIVALENT      6.72      6.68      7.67        7.61
      
      MUTUAL FUNDS
      
      EQUITY FUNDS
      Leaders                              Laggards
      Four-week total return       %       Four-week total return         %
      Lexington Strat. Invmnts.   20.9     Matthews Korea I             -12.9
      Rydex Precious Metals       17.6     Lex. Troika Dialog Russia    -8.6
      Pioneer Gold A              16.4     Pilgrim Amer. Asia-Pac. B    -8.3
      Am.Cent. Global Gold        16.3     Montgomery Emerg. Asia R     -7.7
      PIMCo Precious Metals C     16.1     Fidelity Southeast Asia      -7.6
      
      Leaders                              Laggards
      52-week total return         %       52-week total return           %
      Delaware Aggressive Gr. A   115.2    Matthews Korea I             -50.4
      Munder Micro-Cap Equity Y   96.5     U.S. Global Investors Gold   -49.4
      Weitz Hickory               96.2     Merrill Emerging Tigers C    -47.9
      FMI Focus                   93.0     Morgan Stan. Asian Grth C    -47.9
      Texas Capital Val. & Grth.  90.6     Morg. Stan. Inst. Asia Eq. A -47.6
      
      EQUITY FUND CATEGORIES
      Leaders                              Laggards
      Four-week total return       %       Four-week total return          %
      Precious Metals             12.9     Pacific/Asia ex-Japan          -4.6
      Technology                  6.9      Diversified Pacific/Asia       -2.3
      Europe                      4.4      Utilities                      -0.9
      Small-cap Growth            4.1      Real Estate                    0.2
      Foreign                     3.8      Health                         1.0
      
      Leaders                              Laggards
      52-week total return          %      52-week total return            %
      Communications              65.5     Pacific/Asia ex-Japan          -32.1
      Financial                   61.7     Diversified Pacific/Asia       -23.8
      Small-cap Growth            51.3     Precious Metals                -23.0
      Small-cap Blend             51.1     Japan                          -10.2
      Large-cap Growth            51.1     Diversified Emerging Mkts.     -5.0
      
      All data are as of market close Wednesday, Apr. 22, 1998, unless otherwise 
      indicated. Industry groups include S&P 500 companies only.  Fundamentals, 
      technical indicators, Bloomberg money flow analysis, and mutual fund returns 
      are as of Apr. 21. For a more detailed explanation, write to us or E-mail 
      figures@businessweek.com.  NA=Not available  **Vanguard Index 500 Fund
      
      
      
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE