Bank technology stocks generally rose for the week amid predictions of better-than-expected earnings by several companies.
Intel Corp. led the pack of optimists regarding third-quarter results. Shares of the computer chip maker, which is considered a bellwether for the technology market, jumped $9.25 on the rosy earnings forecast. The stock closed Friday at $97.375.
James Marks, a New York-based analyst for CS First Boston Inc., cited Intel's stock performance as a good example of the "softening of attitudes" toward technology shares. "I believe investors are giving a harder look at technology," he said.
The market as a whole rose for the week, despite the lack of a consensus on whether the Federal Reserve would raise the federal funds rate at Tuesday's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 49.94 points for the week, to close at 5,888.46, and the Nasdaq composite index climbed 30.98 points, to close at 1,219.65.
Beth Marino, economic analyst at Huntington Bancshares, Columbus, Ohio, said the Fed might indeed raise rates "because monetary policy has been inflationary recently."
"They might want to send a signal, ... a preemptive strike against inflation," she said.
But she added that investors are nevertheless "starting to feel a little more comfortable with the inflationary outlook."
In news affecting banks, Richard W. Ussery, chairman and chief executive officer of Total System Services Inc., estimated its 1996 earnings would exceed Wall Street's expectations by about 10%
Total System, a Columbus, Ga., debit and credit card processor, is expected to earn more than $40 million, or 31 cents per share this year.
Mr. Ussery attributed the expected earnings improvement to strong revenues. In part, this was due to a better-than-expected performance by Vital Processing Services, Total System's joint venture with Visa U.S.A.
"It looks like we will have a good third quarter and also a great fourth," he said. "Rather than leaving (investors) hanging out there, we might as well tell the world."
The company's stock rose $2.25 for the week, to close at $25.
Elsewhere, National Data Corp., Atlanta, reported earnings of $8.2 million, or 30 cents per share, for its quarter ending in August.
National Data, which performs processing and information services for the payment systems, beat Wall Street's consensus estimate by two cents. Its earnings were 69% better than in the year-earlier period.
National Data's stock price surged on the news. For the week it rose $2.625, closing Friday at $43.125
"We remain optimistic about our business prospects," said Robert A. Yellowlees, chairman and chief executive officer.
Affiliated Computer Services Inc. shares rose $5.50 for the week, to close at $60.25, on no discernible news.