Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Wednesday, February 3, 1999

Dow up 92.69

NEW YORK -- Stock prices rose today after the Federal Reserve, as expected, indicated it would not change short-term interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 92.69 points to close at 9,366.81.

After a wobbly opening, stocks began to climb in late morning. The Dow was up 92 points at 2:15 EST when Fed governors made it official: they would leave short-term rates where they are.

Broad-market indexes moved higher on continued strength in technology shares.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 10.08 to close at 1,272.07, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 29.99, or 1.2 percent, to 2,493.58.

Advancers led decliners by an 8-to-7 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,621 up, 1,374 down and 539 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 873 million shares vs. 839 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite index rose 4.48 to 598.58, and the American Stock Exchange composite index added 3.64 to 713.27. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 2.00 to 423.73.

The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond slipped 1/4 point, or $2.50 per $1,000 in face value, by late afternoon, while its yield rose to 5.26 percent from 5.24 percent late yesterday.

Stock investors were on Fed watch all morning. Although they didn't really expect it, there was a chance that the Fed would respond to recently robust economic data by raising rates, which would be bad for stocks because it would raise corporate borrowing costs.

But, said Alan Skrainka, chief market strategist at Edward Jones of St. Louis, said in late morning. "this is one of the easiest decisions the Fed has had to make."

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