Bank technology stocks staged a slight comeback Friday after a selloff of technology issues earlier in the week.
Through Wednesday, many bank technology issues were dragged down by concerns about excessive valuations and dubious growth projections.
However, the negative trend was cut short when the Labor Department reported the creation of a greater than expected number of new jobs at the beginning of this year and only a slight rise in the unemployment rate.
This news, combined with the Federal Open Market Committee's decision to leave interest rates unchanged, caused the general market to rise late in the week.
For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 44.64 points, closing Friday at 6,857.73. The technology-laden Nasdaq composite had trouble shaking the effects of the week's dip. It closed at 1,357.69, down 22.21.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s index of U.S.-traded technology companies also registered a decline, 3.28 points for the week, closing Friday at 125.84.
In the news affecting bank technology stocks, Electronic Data Systems Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings of $272 million, or 56 cents per share.
The earnings per share were 2 cents shy of what Wall Street had expected.
Nonetheless, the Plano, Tex., company surprised investors in part because it said it had signed up so much new business recently.
Wall Street had expected EDS to have signed $2 billion to $2.5 billion of new contracts, but the company surpassed $3 billion.
"At first glance, if you look at the numbers, it looks really bad," said Moshe Katri, analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.
But excluding a couple of one-time "extraordinary charges" in the fourth quarter, "I think the numbers would have been in line with the estimates," Mr. Katri said.
He reiterated his "buy" rating and maintained a 12-month target price of $55 to $60 a share, saying, "We definitely see momentum really picking up from a very sluggish first half."
EDS' shares rose $2.125 for the week, to close at $48.25.
In other news, Banctec Inc., Dallas, said it would meet the earnings projection of $1.75 per share for 1996 when it reports fourth-quarter and annual results this month.
The company, which sells financial transaction processing and imaging systems to banks, said it expects to report $552 million of earnings for 1996, an increase of more than 7% from 1995.
The company is telling investors to expect earnings per share of about $2 this year. Banctec's shares rose 37.5 cents, to $19.75.
Meanwhile, John H. Harland Co. reported fourth-quarter net income of $14.7 million, a 50% increase from the previous year.
The Atlanta-based check printer earned 47 cents per share, exceeding expectations by a penny, according to a survey of analysts published by IBES Inc. Its stock price rose 75 cents, to close at $29.875.