Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Continue to Climb

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Continue to Climb

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street sent stocks higher again Thursday, encouraged by a better-than-expected regional Federal Reserve report and growing anticipation of an interest rate cut next week.

The market was unable to hold all of its gains, however. Analysts attributed the pullback to the fact that many companies, particularly in the tech sector, still can't say when their business will improve.

"Nothing fundamental has changed. This is more or less bargain hunting," said Barry Hyman, chief investment strategist at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 68.10 at 10,715.43, falling back from a gain of as much as 112 points but extending a 50- point gain Wednesday.

Broader stock indicators were higher for a third straight session. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 27.52 to 2,058.76, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 13.90 to 1,237.04.

The Fed survey found that business outlooks are improving in the Philadelphia area, although orders and employment levels remain weak. While the news wasn't enough to ease all of investors' doubts, it provided an incentive to buy in a market that has been under pressure for weeks.

"Perhaps the broader economy is not as weak as we've thought," said Todd Clark, co-head of trading at WR Hambrecht. "Perhaps it's a sign the bleeding has stopped."

The resulting rally was broad, with especially strong gains in financial stocks, including Dow components American Express, which rose 94 cents to $40.40, and J.P. Morgan Chase, up $1.52 at $47.12.

The sector usually benefits from an interest rate cut, and Thursday's advances reflected the growing consensus that the Fed will trim rates next week for the sixth time this year when it meets next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Technology issues were also popular.

One of the biggest winners: Cisco Systems, which rose $1. …

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