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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted at 11:50 a.m., Monday, August 20, 2001

Markets rise in quiet trade ahead of Fed rate decision

 •  Hawai'i stocks
 •  Up-to-the-minute market chart

Advertiser News Services

NEW YORK — Stocks rose, led by General Electric Co. and SBC Communications Inc., after a report suggested the economy and corporate profits may rebound by the end of the year.

"If you believe things are getting better, now is the time to get in the market," said Edgar Peters, chief investment officer of Panagora Asset Management, which oversees $15 billion. Peters has 83 percent of his Preferred Asset Allocation Fund in stocks, up from 80 percent in May.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 9.44, or 0.8 percent, to 1171.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 79.29, or 0.8 percent, to 10,320.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 14.33, or 0.8 percent, to 1881.34 after falling as much as 0.7 percent.

Trading was slower than average as some investors refrained from making new commitments to stocks before the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates tomorrow. Some 891 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, according to preliminary figures, 21 percent below the three-month daily average.

Five stocks rose for every four that fell on the NYSE, while 15 advanced for every 14 that declined on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Benchmark indexes erased early losses after the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators gained 0.3 percent in July, the fourth straight increase.

"There are quite a number of signs now pointing to the fact that the economy is starting to stabilize," said Marshall Front, chairman of Front Barnett Associates LLC, which manages $2.5 billion in Chicago.

"The question is, when does the stock market recognize that there may be an uptick over the next couple of months?"

General Electric, the largest stock by market value, gained 73 cents to $41.53, leading the S&P 500's gain.