NEW YORK -- A late buying spree today helped push blue chip stocks to their highest levels since the spring, but investors generally seemed to lack conviction now that the markets have emerged from the shadow of potential interest rate hikes.
Dow gains 38
The Dow Jones industrial average, after fluctuating in and out of positive territory for much of the session, closed up 38.09 at 11,182.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 2.34 at 1,508.31, and the Nasdaq composite was up 42.27, or 1 percent, at 4,053.28.
Advancers narrowly beat decliners by on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,431 up, 1,381 down and 528 unchanged. Volume came to 821.55 million shares, down from yesterday's 864.50 million.
The NYSE composite index fell 0.28 to 671.94; the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 7.84 to 931.94; and the Russell 2000 index was up 5.42 at 523.30.
The yield on the Treasury's 10-year note held at 5.72 percent. The 30-year bond rose point as its yield fell 1 point to 5.66 percent.
The Dow might have seen higher gains today if not for a selloff in eye-care company Bausch & Lomb, which lowered its outlook for earnings and revenue growth for the rest of the fiscal year and 2001. The firm also announced that its president and chief operating officer will resign. The Rochester, N.Y., company's stock fell $19.88, or 36 percent, to $35.88.
A government report showed durable goods orders fell by a record 12.4 percent in July, following big gains in May and June. The figures mean big manufacturers are apparently tightening their production levels, another sign that the economy is cooling.