Bank technology stocks generally rose for the week, in lockstep with the broader stock and bond markets that were buoyed by economic news suggesting no immediate rise in interest rates.
The Labor Department said Friday the economy lost 40,000 jobs in September. Contrasted with an expected gain of 170,000 jobs, the indicator sent the Dow Jones industrial average closer to the 6,000 milestone. It closed at 5,992.82 Friday, up 119.94 points for the week.
The Nasdaq composite index also ended up 17.51 points for the week, closing at 1,247.56.
"The market's been strong, but the (information technology) services area has been particularly strong," said F. Mark D'Annolfo, an analyst at Adams Harkness & Hill Inc., Boston.
He attributed the strength in part to several "smart acquisitions" made by many companies, which have helped contribute to earnings.
In the news, Electronic Data Systems Corp. said it would report third- quarter earnings per share in line with Wall Street's consensus estimate of 55 cents.
The company also said it would report earnings 20% higher than those of the year-earlier quarter. For the week, its shares rose $1 to $59.375.
Concord EFS Inc., a Memphis-based transaction processor, said it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell two million common shares, which will boost the number outstanding to more than 59 million.
At a target price of $25, the company hopes to raise $46.8 million, $30 million of which will go into the capital of its EFS National Bank subsidiary.
The banking unit needs the capital to comply with guidelines that affect credit card banks, especially with anticipated growth in processing volume. Concord also expects to make additional purchases of merchant processing portfolios.
The company's stock price fell $2.125 last week, closing at $23.875.
First Data Corp.'s stock continued its monthlong rise, closing Friday at $86, up $4.625. The Hackensack, N.J.-based company - the largest credit card processor - announced a sizable merchant services and electronic commerce agreement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Wal-Mart, of Bentonville, Ark., estimated its sales this year will be as much as $105 billion. Wal-Mart handles five billion payments annually and about 4% of the nation's credit card transactions.
Officials said Chase Manhattan Corp., New York, will be the clearing bank for U.S.-based credit card transactions. Wal-Mart, which will be offering a cobranded credit card with Chase, announced a previous processing deal with National Processing Inc.
Steven Birer, an analyst at Hambrecht & Quist, San Francisco, lowered Transaction Network Services Inc.'s rating to "buy" from "strong buy." He also shaved five cents off the 1996 earnings projection, to 51 cents a share. The stock price closed Friday at $13.625, off $1 for the week.