Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Indexes post their
best day in a year

NEW YORK >> Wall Street rode fresh evidence of a resurgent economy to its best finish in a year yesterday. The Dow Jones industrials surged 201 points and four major indexes posted the highest close since last summer.

Analysts said many investors were opting to jump in after Friday's moderate decline in anticipation of stronger profit growth. Mutual fund mangers, in particular, want to take advantage for fear of missing the next big rally.

"The people have been buying the dips," said Russ Koesterich, U.S. equity strategist at State Street Corp. in Boston. "The New York index came in above expectations, and there was an upgrade of Yahoo that's encouraging people."

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume was moderate at 1.69 billion shares, compared with 1.65 billion traded Friday.

The Dow closed up 201.84, or 2.2 percent, at 9,318.96, following a weekly advance of 0.6 percent. It was the Dow's largest one-day gain since April 2, when the blue chips closed 215.20 points higher. On Friday, the blue chips lost 79 points. The Dow now stands at its highest close since it reached 9,379.50 on July 5, 2002.

The broader market also finished sharply higher. The Nasdaq composite index advanced 40.09, or 2.5 percent, to 1,666.58, after slipping 0.1 percent last week. The Nasdaq is at its highest close since May 23, 2002, when it reached 1,697.63.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 22.13, or 2.2 percent, to 1,010.74, having risen 0.1 percent last week. It was also the index's strongest advance since April 2, when the S&P closed 22.42 points higher. The index is now at its highest close since June 19, 2002, when it stood at 1,019.99.

The Russell 2000 index rose 7.76, or 1.7 percent, to 457.47, after slipping 0.9 percent last week. The Russell is at its highest close since June 28, 2002, when it reached 462.65.

The price of the Treasury's 10-year note closed down 5/8 point, while its yield rose to 3.18 percent from 3.11 percent Friday. Two-year Treasury notes were down 1/8 point and yielded 1.15 percent, up from 1.08 percent late Friday.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its general business conditions index for June rose to 26.80, the highest level on record, from 10.60 in May, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The reading boosted hope of a strong reading for the Philadelphia regional index, which is seen as an indicator of national manufacturing activity.

Stocks have rallied for three months as investors bet on an economic recovery by year's end. Some analysts believe the market is firmly in an upward trend, citing improving corporate profits, although others believe stocks are due for a major pullback after advancing so quickly.

Since hitting a low for the year on March 11, the Dow is up about 24 percent, the Nasdaq higher 31 percent, the S&P is up 26 percent and the Russell is up 32 percent.

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