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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:36 p.m., Monday, November 19, 2001

Resurgence sends Dow closer to 10,000

Hawai'i Stocks
Updated Market Chart

By Lisa Singhania
Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrials came a step closer to 10,000 today, managing a solid rally as reports of U.S. military victories in Afghanistan increased hopes that the worst is over for the market.

The index has now risen 21 percent since Sept. 21, its 2001 low, meeting the technical definition of a bull market, but many analysts were skeptical the momentum would last. They note most of the gains represent the rebound from the post-Sept. 11 terror attack selloff, rather than buying on concrete signs that business is turning around.

"The market's got a positive tone here, but it's not really running on rocket fuel," said Jon Brorson, director of equities at Northern Trust. "I wouldn't be surprised if the market falls back from here."

The Dow closed up 109.47, or 1.1 percent, at 9,976.46, according to preliminary calculations. The index is now just 23.54 points below the 10,000 level it last held Sept. 5. It has risen 21.1 percent since Sept. 21, when it was at 8,235.81.

Broader stock indicators also did well. The Nasdaq composite index was up 35.84, or 1.9 percent, at 1,934.42, within striking distance of 2,000, a milestone not seen since Aug. 7.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12.41, or 1.1 percent, to 1,151.06, its best finish since Aug. 29, when the index stood at 1,161.51.

Stocks have been advancing gradually as the market recovered from the selloff that followed the attacks. Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the 10th time this year, in a move designed to stimulate business by making it cheaper to borrow money to expand.

News in the last week that the Taliban government was retreating in Afghanistan has cheered investors and professional money managers, who had been keeping large amounts of cash on the sidelines because of all the economic and political uncertainty.

Wall Street is also happy about falling energy prices. Cheaper oil and gas bills mean consumers, whose spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy, have more money to spend on other goods and services.

In trading today, financial stocks, thought to be an early leader in a market turnaround, were higher. American Express rose $1.07 to $34.20.