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Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Friday, December 22, 2000

Dow surges 148;
Nasdaq soars 177

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Santa Claus finally arrived on Wall Street today, giving the Nasdaq composite index its best finish in more than a week and its fifth-biggest percentage gain ever. A late round of holiday buying sent tech and blue-chip stocks soaring as bargain-hunting investors capitalized on the big selloffs earlier this week. But analysts cautioned against attributing the gains to anything more than seasonality and the market's oversold condition.

"This is a bounce. The basic nuts and bolts of why we came down, the cooling economy and earnings warnings, haven't gone away," said Larry Wachtel, market analyst at Prudential Securities. "Just because we're able to go up after more than a week on the downside for the Nasdaq doesn't mean it's a brave new world. It's just the law of averages."

"Typically the last week of the year tends to be a strong period, and with tech stocks having been devastated in the last two or three weeks, there's a lot of bargain hunting going on," said Peter Anderson, chief investment officer at American Express Financial.

The Nasdaq closed up 7.56 percent, or 176.90 at 2,517.02. It was the index's fifth-biggest percentage gain ever and just missed the top 10 in terms of point gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.4 percent, rising 148.27 to 10,635.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 31.09, a 2.4 percent gain, to 1,305.95.

Advancers outnumbered decliners more than 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 2,035 up, 891 down and 402 unchanged. Volume was 1.09 billion shares vs. 1.41 billion yesterday. The NYSE composite index rose 10.27 to 639.55, the American Stock Exchange composite index jumped 10.83 to 864.03 and the Russell 2000 index surged 15.96 to 462.99.

The Treasury's 10-year note rose to 1055/8; its yield fell 2 basis points to 5 percent. The 30-year bond was unchanged at 112 11/32; its yield held at 5.41 percent.

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