Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Monday, February 11, 2002

Dow posts second straight
triple-digit gain

By Amy Baldwin
Associated Press

NEW YORK >> Wall Street's cheaper prices lured buyers today, sending the Dow Jones industrials up by triple digits for the second straight session, but the gains came on light volume that reflected lingering nervousness about the economy and corporate bookkeeping.

"(Prices) aren't jumping out at you, but they are looking more attractive, and that has incited some buying," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany Corp.

The Dow closed up 140.54, or 1.4 percent, at 9,884.78 after rising 118.80 Friday. Analysts said the relatively low trading volume skewed some price changes, making the advance appear more solid than it actually was.

New York Stock Exchange volume totaled 1.14 billion shares, below the moderate 1.37 billion traded Friday.

The broader market was also higher. The tech-focused Nasdaq composite index rose 27.78, or 1.5 percent, to 1,846.66, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 15.72, or 1.4 percent, to 1,111.94.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 2 to 1 on the NYSE, with 2,101 up, 1,020 down and 219 unchanged.

The NYSE composite index rose 7.34 to 572.68, the American Stock Exchange composite index gained 6.92 to 840.73 and the Russell 2000 index, which measures the performance of smaller company stocks, rose 4.65 to 471.32.

The Treasury's 2-year note fell 1/32 to 100 18; its yield gained 2 basis points to 2.93 percent.

Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 10-year note lost 1/4 to 99 23/32; its yield rose 3 basis points to 4.91 percent. The 30-year bond fell 12/32 to 99 20/32; its yield rose 3 basis points to 5.40 percent.

The buying built on a rally from Friday, when bargain hunters snatched up cheaper stocks following a five-session selloff. Because buying has been based on price rather than confidence in the economy and corporate earnings, analysts don't expect gains to hold.

"You've had an ugly two weeks, and so now you get a bounce. But there is no volume in this move up, meaning there's no conviction. If the market wanted to turn downward on a dime, it could," said Gary Kaltbaum, market technician for Investors' Edge Partners in Orlando.

Stocks have declined for much of this year as companies released tepid fourth-quarter earnings and offered little indication that business is improving.

Enron's collapse, precipitated by irregular accounting, also has fed the downturn as investors are increasingly skeptical about how other companies keep their books.

"It is definitely because of the ongoing, nagging worry of whether the books are getting cooked, whether we are looking at real numbers," Johnson said.

Dow industrial DuPont rose $1.84 to $44.56 after announcing it will restructure its business, possibly spinning off a textiles and interiors unit.

United Technologies, also a Dow stock, advanced $1.02 to $69.10 after affirming its 2002 earnings outlook. And, Federal Express climbed $1.73 to $55.13 after saying it expects to meet or beat estimates for the current quarter.

Wireless provider Qualcomm surged $3.82 to $41.28, recovering from losses Friday when a research firm questioned its accounting.

National Semiconductor gained 87 cents to $27.15 after Credit Suisse First Boston raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold."

Only four Dow industrials traded lower. Among them, Procter & Gamble fell 38 cents to $81.71, and American Express declined 33 cents to $33.52.

Meanwhile, Gannett Co., owner of the Honolulu Advertiser, jumped $2.36 to a 52-week high of $73.31 after analyst Mark D Henderson at ABN Amro raised the stock to a "buy" from "add."

Tyco International rose $1.92 to $31.80. It has climbed 38 percent in the past four days after plunging as much as 61 percent this year amid accounting and credit concerns.

Overseas, stocks traded higher today in Europe. France's CAC-40 closed up 1.3 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 advanced 0.7 percent, and Germany's DAX index climbed 2.2 percent. Japanese financial markets were closed today for a national holiday. Normal trading will resume tomorrow.

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