Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Dow up 102 points,
zeros in on 10,000

NEW YORK >> Wall Street sprinted higher yesterday as investors kept their faith in a strengthening economy despite Friday's disappointing employment report. The Dow Jones industrials climbed 102 points to fall just shy of 10,000.

"Even though folks are focusing on the jobs report being a lot weaker than anticipated, the bottom line is we still created jobs and that's a whole lot better than six months ago," said John Caldwell, chief equity strategist for McDonald Financial Group. "The strength in the economy is looking real and sustainable at least through next year."

The Dow closed up 102.59, or 1 percent, at 9,965.27, having gained 0.8 percent in the previous week. It was the highest close since May 28, 2002, when the blue-chip average stood at 9,981.58. The last time the Dow traded above 10,000 was May 31, 2002.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 11.03, or 0.6 percent, to 1,948.85, following a weekly decline of 1.1 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 7.80, or 0.7 percent, to 1,069.30, having risen 0.3 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners more than 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume was very light at 1.52 billion shares, compared with 1.56 billion traded Friday.

The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller company stocks, rose 4.03, or 0.8 percent, to 543.04.

The NYSE composite index rose 43.28, or 0.7 percent, to 6,166.17. The American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 11.70, or 1.1 percent, to 1,130.26.

The Treasury's two-year note slipped 2/32 to 99 3032, with its yield rising 3 basis points to 1.90 percent.The 10-year note lost 932 to 9 92732, with its yield gaining 4 basis points to 4.27 percent.

Investors brushed aside concerns that the dollar slid to a new low yesterday against the euro. Analysts say many investors were instead betting that the Federal Reserve will indicate that it plans to leave rates unchanged for some time when it meets today.

In the last several meetings, the Fed has said it wouldn't likely raise rates for a "considerable period."

"Debate is swirling on the wording in their statement and whether they drop the 'considerable period' terminology," Caldwell said. "Any movement down that path might spook the market."

JetBlue Airways Corp. gained $1.94 to $27.80 after Merrill Lynch upgraded the airlines' stock rating to "buy" from "neutral." Baxter International Inc. rose $1.30 to $29.50 after Merrill Lynch upgraded the drug company's stock rating to "buy" from "neutral."

Decliners included Freddie Mac, which fell 20 cents to $55.15, after the second-largest U.S. buyer of home mortgages named Richard F. Syron as its new chairman and chief executive; he replaces Gregory Parseghian, who was ousted in August after being implicated in accounting irregularities.

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