Originally created 05/22/01

Business briefs



NEW YORK - Wall Street went on a technology buying spree Monday, despite the absence of any obvious catalyst, sending the Nasdaq composite index soaring more than 100 points and the Dow Jones industrials to their highest close in 16 months.

Investors appeared to be buying solely on the expectation that better times are ahead and the determination to get into the market before prices get much higher.

The Nasdaq rose 106.71 to 2,305.59, the first time since August 2000 that the tech-dominated index has risen five straight sessions.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 36.18 at 11,337.92, adding to a three-day, 428.77-point gain. The last time it closed that high was Jan. 20, 2000, when it reached 11,351.30.

Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 20.87 at 1,312.83.

The blue chip index has recovered to the point where it is now just 3.3 percent off its highest close of 11,722.98, reached Jan. 14, 2000.

Employers plan caution in hiring

GLENDALE, Wis. - Hiring by U.S. private and public employers could approach levels last seen during the 1990-91 recession, according to a quarterly employment survey released Monday by Manpower Inc.

Only 27 percent of employers say they plan to add staff during the third quarter of this year, compared with 35 percent during the year-ago period, the survey found.

"Companies across all industries are continuing to show clear caution in hiring," said Jeff Joerres, Manpower's chief executive. "The projected hiring strength in the present economy has declined for the second consecutive quarter and now seems to be approaching the 1990-91 levels in our survey history."