NEW YORK (CNNfn) - U.S. share prices climbed higher midday Tuesday, extending early gains. The tech-heavy Nasdaq passed the milestone 3,000 level for the first time amid strong buying in the technology sector that also spilled into the broader market.
Shortly before 11:30 a.m. ET, the Nasdaq composite rallied 41.26 points, or 1.2 percent, to 3,008.91, looking set to close at a record high for the third trading session in a row.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87.47 points to 10,735.98. The broader S&P 500 index climbed 13.44 to 1,367.56.
On the New York Stock Exchange, advances outnumbered declines 2,121 to 936 as trading volume reached 328 million shares. (Click here for a look at today's CNNfn's hot stocks.)
The bond market also rose with the bellwether 30-year Treasury bond gaining 11/32 of a point in price, lowering its yield to 6.15 percent from 6.18 percent Monday.
The dollar rose against both the yen and the euro.
A Nasdaq milestone
With technology shares posting strong gains, the Nasdaq maintained its upward momentum. Investors' appetite for technology stocks appeared unabated even after the index closed at record levels the previous two sessions.
Among the Nasdaq's leading stocks, Microsoft (MSFT) rose 1-9/16 to 93-15/16 and Intel (INTC) advanced 1-5/8 to 77-5/8. The two became the first Nasdaq stocks to be included in the 30 Dow industrials Monday.
Among the day's top news makers, Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD), a company that makes drugs to treat viral infections including HIV, plummeted 18-3/8, or over 29 percent, to 44-7/8 after a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Monday rejected its anti-HIV drug defovir dipivoxil.
Following the rejection, PaineWebber reduced its 12-month price target to $55 from $65. Noting that the stock is expected to remain under pressure, the brokerage maintained its "neutral" rating on Gilead.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette lowered its rating of the company to "market perform" from "buy."
Elsewhere in the day's news, Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARC) dropped 4-5/16 to 87-7/8 after the Wall Street Journal reported BP Amoco PLC's (BPA) proposed $27 billion takeover of the oil company may be in jeopardy of being blocked by U.S. regulators due to antitrust concerns. BP Amoco dipped 1-3/4 to 55-1/2.
Also of note, Boeing (BA) declined 1-7/8 to 42-3/4 after the aircraft giant suspended deliveries Tuesday of most of its commercial aircraft due to faulty cockpit parts in four out of five models.
Corporate earnings trickle
As corporate quarterly earnings reports begin to fade, investors cheered Cigna Corp. (CI). The heath-care giant's third-quarter results, released late Monday, beat analysts' expectations. Cigna reported a profit of $1.47 per share, against forecasts for $1.30 per share. The stock rose 6-1/4 to 79-5/8.
Fed chief's speech a nonevent
Little attention was focused on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. In prepared remarks Tuesday to a community banking group in Orlando, Florida, the Fed chief steered clear on interest rates, focusing on the mortgage markets and the economy.
With no key economic news scheduled until Friday's October employment report, investors had hoped for clues on monetary policy as the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Nov. 16 draws closer. Still, Greenspan's reluctance to issue any veiled interest rate warnings in his speech appeared to have lifted spirits in the bond market, adding support to the gains in stocks.