Originally created 04/08/00

Business briefs: Nasdaq has big gain



NEW YORK -- The Nasdaq composite index ended a rocky week with its biggest point gain ever Friday as investors snapped up technology stocks with strong prospects for earnings growth. Blue-chip stocks turned lower because of weakness in financial stocks.

The Nasdaq rose 178.89, to 4,446.45, topping its previous record point gain, 168.21, set Feb. 22. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 2.79 to close at 11,111.48. Broader stock indicators were mostly higher.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 10-to-9 margin on the New York Stock Exchange. On the Nasdaq, advancers led by a 5-to-3 margin.

Clothing design company stocks take plunge

NEW YORK -- Tommy Hilfiger Corp.'s stock plunged more than 30 percent Friday, falling to a five-year low, after the fashion house warned earnings will be on the low end of analysts' expectations because of continued sluggish sales.

Hilfiger shares closed down $4.43 3/4 , or by 32 percent, at $9.37' Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, its lowest level since February 1995. A number of investment firms downgraded its stock.

Internet group wants fund influx

ATLANTA -- Two members of Healtheon/WebMD's board said Friday they want to pour up to $220 million into the Internet health care company, hoping to restore confidence in a stock that is trading near its lowest level ever.

Investors responded, pushing shares of the Atlanta-based company nearly 35 percent higher, to $29.18 3/4 , in trading on Nasdaq.

Heavy hiring keeps jobless rate low

WASHINGTON -- The largest number of job seekers in four years found work in March, propelled by a big burst in hiring for the census and other temporary factors. The nation's unemployment rate stayed close to a three-decade low at 4.1 percent.

Spurred in part by the supercharged economy, employers added 416,000 jobs to their payrolls last month -- the largest number since 454,000 jobs were created in February 1996, the Labor Department said Friday.