by Amy Baldwin
AP Business Writer
Stock prices were mostly higher Friday afternoon, but the major market gauges were below the day's highs that saw the Standard & Poor's 500 index surpass 1,000 for the first time in nearly a year and the Dow Jones industrials climb more than 170 points.
In heavy early afternoon trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 7.57, or 0.8 percent, to 993.81, having pierced the 1,000 level in earlier trading. The S&P hadn't traded above 1,000 since June 28, 2000 and has not closed above that mark since June 20. In the previous five sessions, the S&P gained 40.5.
After climbing as much as 174.58, the Dow was up 77.66, or 0.9 percent, at 9,118.96. In the previous five sessions, the Dow advanced 330.12 points and on Wednesday closed above the 9,000 mark for the first time in nearly 10 months.
But the NASDAQ composite index, which has been trading at levels not seen in just over a year, fell 4.27, or 0.3 percent, to 1,641.74.
Analysts attributed the gains partially to an announcement by Oracle that it was offering to buy rival software maker PeopleSoft. The rise also reflected investors' growing expectations that the market has hit bottom and the economy is turning around.
But investors, concerned that Wall Street had risen too high, too quickly, paused at midday to take some profits.
The S&P and Dow Jones industrials indicators were still headed for their sixth straight winning session.