Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Continue to Improve as Profit Picture Brightens

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Continue to Improve as Profit Picture Brightens

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks staged a fairly broad advance for the second straight session Friday as a strong week of corporate profits continued to ease the doubts that sent the market tumbling last week.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 51.05 points to 5,473.06, just shy of its high for the session and a gain of 46.24 on the week.

"It's like a `safe-to-come-back-into-the-water' kind of attitude," said Richard A. Dickson, a technical analyst at Scott & Stringfellow Inc. in Richmond, Va. "People have seen there are actually more earnings surprises than negative surprises, and they're saying, `maybe things aren't as black as they seemed when the market went down last week."

Despite the growing confidence levels about earnings, however, the market continued to swing widely in the aftermath of last week's selloff.

It was the 10th straight session in which the Dow industrials moved more than 50 points, triggering New York Stock Exchange curbs on computer-driven trading.

The volatile Nasdaq market, meanwhile, produced its eighth move of more than 1 percent in 10 sessions, rallying for the second straight day as technology shares rebounded again.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by nearly a 2-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 349.85 million shares as of 4 p.m., down considerably from the previous session.

The NYSE's composite index rose 2.50 to 340.87, and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 4.73 to 635.90.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 17.05 to 1,079.44, and the American Stock Exchange's market value index rose 6.56 to 539.15.

The positive tone of Thursday's rally, spurred by an encouraging earnings report from IBM, was reinforced by a strong profit report from Gateway 2000, which continued to demonstrate some of the fastest sales growth in the personal computer industry.

Earlier in the week, Compaq Computer also reported strong results.

Semiconductor stocks enjoyed a strong day, bolstered by a Prudential Securities upgrade and hopes that strong computer sales will mean strong chip demand. …

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