Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Market has
winning month

NEW YORK >> Wall Street notched its third straight month of gains today -- a feat not seen in nearly two years -- after investors cheered a pair of reports showing a rise in consumer sentiment and Midwest manufacturing.

"We have more positive economic data that's got investors heartened the economy is continuing to improve," said Stephen Massocca, president of Pacific Growth Equities. "Investors are pretty optimistic."

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by an 11-to-3 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavy.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 139.08, or 1.6 percent, at 8,850.26. That reversed a decline in the Dow yesterday, when it lost nearly 82 points, halting a five-day rally. It also was the highest level seen since Dec. 2, 2002, when the blue chips finished at 8,862.57.

The broader market also finished sharply higher. The Nasdaq composite index rose 20.96, or 1.3 percent, to 1,595.91. That was the best level since May 31, 2002, when the tech-focused index closed at 1,615.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 13.95, or 1.5 percent, to 963.59. It was the highest close since July 8, 2002, when the index stood at 976.98. The Russell 2000 index rose 8.37, or 1.9 percent, to 441.01.

The four gauges also posted a third winning month, an achievement which hasn't happened since October-December 2001. In May, the Dow gained 4.4 percent, the Nasdaq advanced 9 percent, the S&P rose 5.1 percent and the Russell advanced 10.6 percent.

For the week, the main gauges also finished higher, with the Dow up 2.9 percent, the Nasdaq 5.7 percent higher, the S&P up 3.3 percent and the Russell gaining 5.4 percent.

The price of the Treasury's 10-year note closed down 5/32 point, while its yield rose to 3.36 percent from 3.34 percent yesterday. The price of two-year Treasury notes was unchaged, but their yield rose to 1.28 percent from 1.27 percent yesterday.

The University of Michigan reported today that its consumer sentiment index rose in May to 92.1 percent, according to Dow Jones Newswires. That is up from 86.0 percent in April, although it is lower than both a mid-month reading and the forecasts of analysts.

Meanwhile, the Purchasing Management Association of Chicago said its index of business activity rose to 52.2 in May, indicating manufacturing growth in the Midwest. Analysts said that could foreshadow an increase in the national manufacturing number, to be reported by the Institute for Supply Management on Monday.

However, the Commerce Department reported that consumer spending dipped by 0.1 percent in April. That is the largest drop since the start of the year and is a sharp reversal from March when consumers increased their spending by 0.8 percent.

Schering-Plough saw its stock decline by 45 cents to $18.45 after the drug maker said a federal grand jury was probing its marketing practices, including whether it overcharged the government for medicine.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.6 percent. In Europe, Germany's DAX index rose 2.6 percent, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.9 percent, and France's CAC-40 increased 0.8 percent.

Search: TickerName


E-mail to Business Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --