NEW YORK >> Wall Street showed it can tolerate bad earnings news today, rallying sharply despite losses and job cuts at Motorola. The Dow Jones industrials have now won back more than 1,000 of the 1,369 points lost after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Markets gain ground
despite poor earnings
By Lisa Singhania
Analysts cautioned that the buying did not signal any kind of fundamental market turnaround -- but rather was an extension of a rebound that began two weeks ago.
"There definitely is some buying going on here. But there is also a sense of tenuousness in the air," said Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at Prime Charter Ltd. "We are about to go back to the pre-Sept. 11 levels that we broke down from and that's likely to meet with some pretty significant resistance."
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 188.42 to 9,240.86, a gain of 1,005 from its close of 8,235.81 on Sept. 21, the end of the first week of trading after the attacks.
Broader stock indicators also advanced. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 24.24 at 1,080.99, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 56.06 to 1,626.25.
Advancing issues led decliners 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 2,261 rising, 878 falling and 181 unchanged. Volume came to 1.53 billion shares.
The Russell 2000 index gained 12.98 to 421.66. The NYSE Composite Index rose 55.98 to 1,626.17. The American Stock Exchange Index rose 0.04 to 834.37.
The price of the U.S. Treasury's 10-year note fell 2/32 to 103 4/32, while its yield rose 1 basis point to 4.603. The price of the 30-year note rose 6/32 to 100 6/32, while its yield fell 1 basis point to 5.361.
All three major indexes are now within striking distance of their pre-attack levels, but market watchers said it's too early to know if investors are feeling less worried about the weak economy and U.S. military action against terrorists or just bargain hunting.
"The bullish scenario here is that people are pretty resilient and will adapt to this new world," said Robert Harrington, head of trading at UBS Warburg. "The bearish scenario is that if there's another terrorist event, the market will fall again."
The buying today accelerated late in the session on investors' hopes that the lack of a negative reaction to Motorola's earnings indicated that Wall Street has already factored in U.S. companies' dismal third-quarter results. Those reports are due out this month.
Some of the gains also came from investors forced to buy stocks to cover bets they had made that those stocks would fall lower. The process is called short-covering.
Motorola advanced 19 cents to $16.91, overcoming news that the company was cutting another 7,000 jobs -- for a total of 39,000 this year -- and expects another quarterly loss.
Other tech stocks moved higher, too. Microsoft was up 95 cents at $55.51, a recovery from Tuesday's decline on an unsurprising Supreme Court decision to not hear the software maker's appeal of its antitrust case.