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Changing market place

May 3, 1999



Compiled BY STAFF

While there may be a cyclical rotation within the stock market, the entire stock market is, itself, rotating, giving us a new picture of the US economy.

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The top 10 big caps

*The great bull market of the 1990s has brought a substantial change in the dominant companies. It used to be the big industrial companies that carried all the clout, but now it's computer and Internet companies driving the markets.

*One way to measure this influence is by looking at market capitalization - multiplying a company's stock price by the number of shares it has outstanding. Look at the 10 companies that, in 1990, boasted the biggest market caps in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Those 10 companies were generally the big, industrial manufacturers, with only one high-tech name, IBM, among them.

Then ...

Market capitalization (in billions). Figures from March 31, 1989 market close.

1. IBM $65

2. Exxon 57

3. GE 40

4. AT&T 34

5. Royal Dutch Shell 34

6. Philip Morris 28

7. Merck 26

8. General Motors 25

9. Dupont 24

10. Ford 24

... and now

Market capitalization (in billions). Figures from April 14, 1999 market close.

1. Microsoft $433

2. GE 374

3. Wal-mart 218

4. Intel 190

5. Pfizer 188

6. Merck 187

7. AT&T 181

8. Exxon 180

9. Cisco 175

10. IBM 166

Top 10 performing companies by stock price

*Our next two lists show the most influential stocks - measured by growth in stock price - in two important market indexes - the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 (the 100 biggest companies on the high-tech heavy Nasdaq) - between Jan 1, 1998 and April 19, 1999. Over that period, the S&P 500 grew about 40 percent, and the Nasdaq 100 shot up 114 percent.

*What's important here is the dominance by a few companies. In the S&P 500, eight of the 10 top performers are technology firms, and most of those scarcely existed 10 years ago. The traditional blue-chip companies, such as General Electric, have, by contrast, become minor players.

*America Online, a product of the New Economy, accounts for 20 percentage points - half of the performance in the S&P 500, the major measure of stock-market performance. In the Nasdaq 100, Internet firm Amazon.com gave the index almost a third of its gains, and seven of the 10 companies are Internet related.

S&P 500, up 40 percent 1/1/98-4/19/99 - Percentage % price points of Company gain index gain

1. AOL $1,332 20.1

2. Microsoft 172 6.9

3. Cisco 217 3.7

4. Dell 327 3.4

5. Wal-mart 160 3.3

6. MCI/World 208 3.3

7. Lucent 214 3.2

8. GE 58 1.9

9. IBM 102 1.8

10. EMC 322 1.7

Nasdaq 100, up 114 percent 1/1/98-4/19/99 Percentage % price points of Company gain index gain

1. Microsoft $172 39.3

2. Amazon 1,963 33.7

3. CMGI 3,616 24.4

4. Cisco 217 20.9

5. Yahoo 1,011 20.3

6. Dell 327 19.1

7. MCI/World 208 18.4

8. Intel 84 9.2

9. Level 3 513 7.8

10. Sun Micro 228 5.9

Source: staff