Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Thursday, August 16, 2001

Late Wall Street rally
pulls stocks out
of doldrums

Associated Press

NEW YORK >> Last-minute bargain hunters boosted the stock market today, turning around losses triggered by a profit and revenue warning from Ciena and concerns about earnings due after the close of regular trading by Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard.

Wall Street's gains came at the end of a session marked by sharp losses -- volatility analysts attributed to a conflict between investors' fears about the uncertain economy and their desire to snatch up stocks at cheaper prices.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46.57 to 10,392.52. The Dow fell as much as 74 points in today's trading. The Nasdaq composite index finished up 11.43 at 1,930.32, after closing yesterday at its lowest level since April and reversing a 39 point loss earlier in the day.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.64 to 1,181.66 after falling nearly 12 points earlier.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,646 up, 1,427 down and 231 unchanged. Volume was 1.05 billion shares vs. 1.06 billion shares yesterday. The NYSE composite index rose 0.46 to 606.36, the American Stock Exchange composite index gained 0.34 to 887.31 and the Russell 2000 index rose 2.73 to 481.68. The Treasury's 10-year note rose 14/32 to 100-14/32; its yield fell 6 basis points to 4.94 percent. The 30-year bond gained 15/32 to 98-14/32; its yield fell 3 basis points to 5.48 percent.

The market's vulnerability today was attributable to Ciena, which plummeted $8.50, or 30 percent, to $19.62 after sharply reducing revenue and earnings estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter and 2002. The communications equipment maker's third-quarter profits beat expectations by a penny a share.

After the market closed, H-P released earnings that beat lowered expectations by a penny, while Dell met expectations.

The market was down most of the day, despite three positive reports on the economy. First, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in July, the biggest decline in 15 years. The decline was attributed to a sharp drop in the cost of gas and other energy products, according to the Labor Department. Additionally, the Commerce Department reported that housing construction rose by 2.8 percent in July to an annual rate of 1.67 million, the best showing in 17 months. Also, the number of workers filing new claims for state unemployment insurance fell by a seasonally adjusted 8,000 to 380,000 last week, suggesting that the flurry of layoffs seen recently may be moderating. The more stable four-week moving average of claims fell to 370,750, its lowest point since early March.

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