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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:44 a.m., Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Stocks soar on election, interest rate hopes

Hawai'i Stocks
Updated Market Chart

By Amy Baldwin
Associated Press

NEW YORK – Investors expecting a big GOP Election Day victory bought stocks gleefully today, giving the Dow Jones industrials a triple-digit gain and lifting technology stocks out of a slump. Analysts attributed the advance, which gained momentum in the last hour, to investors anticipating a Republican-controlled Congress as well as another interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve, which meets tomorrow

"If we get a sweep by the Republicans, that raises a lot of hope as far as tax incentives going forward. This market has a sense that the Republicans are going to recapture the Senate," said Peter Cardillo, president and chief strategist of Global Partners Securities.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended a lightly traded session up 106.67, or 1.2 percent, at 8,678.27, according to preliminary calculations.

The broader market also ended higher. The Nasdaq composite index rose 4.60, or 0.3 percent, to 1,401.14, having fallen as much as 17 earlier. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 7.05, or 0.8 percent, to 915.40.

There was no earnings or economic news to sway trading today, which is typical for an Election Day. But after four straight weeks of gains from better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and a technology rally yesterday, many investors believe that the bear market is nearly over and that now is a good time to buy stocks again.

"You are hard pressed to sell into these kind of moves," said Bryan Piskorowski, market commentator for Prudential Securities.

The midterm election has contributed to the recent rallies. Investors have been hoping that Republicans would maintain control of the House as well as win the Senate.

Anticipation of tomorrow's Federal Reserve meeting has also provided some lift. The market was expecting that the central bank would cut rates again, probably by 0.25 percentage point, to reinvigorate the economy. The Fed cut rates 11 times last year.

Among blue chips, Boeing rose $1.85 to $31.52, Johnson & Johnson climbed $1.18 to $59.89, and Philip Morris advanced 94 cents to $42.68.

Cisco Systems rose 38 cents to $12.69 ahead of its earnings results due out tomorrow.

But software maker Adobe Systems dropped $1.56 to $25.82 after Deutsche Securities downgraded to "sell" from "hold."

Advancing issues narrowly outnumbered decliners 14 to 13 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was light.

The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller company stocks, fell 0.90, or 0.2 percent, to 386.07.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average finished today up 2.9 percent. In Europe, France's CAC-40 gained 0.9 percent, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent, and Germany's DAX index advanced 0.7 percent.