Posted at 12:06 p.m., Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Wall Street gets boost from tech stocks
By Hope Yen
The market gave back some of its gains in the final 90 minutes, but analysts said the advance was nonetheless a pleasant surprise given investors' growing fears about a war with Iraq. They said investors were still resilient, and hoping that lower interest rates and a Republican-controlled Congress can get the economy moving again.
"By and large, the overall framework for the market is to have a positive bias," said Joseph V. Battipaglia, chief investment officer at Ryan Beck & Co.
According to preliminary calculations, the tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index climbed 30.37, or 2.3 percent, to 1,349.56, nearly erasing yesterday's loss of 40.09.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27.05, or 0.3 percent, to close at 8,386.00. The blue chips were up as much as 145.72 before losing ground toward the close.
Analysts said terrorism fears may have pressured stocks in the final hour, after Al-Jazeera TV in Egypt aired an audiotape allegedly of Osama bin Laden praising the Oct. 12 Bali bombings and Chechen hostage taking in Moscow. U.S. officials were trying to verify if the voice was bin Laden's.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.76, or 0.8 percent, to 882.95.
Tech stocks got a boost after Cisco's CEO John Chambers said the maker of network equipment expected to have continued aggressive spending in research and development, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The company's shares jumped 71 cents to $12.87.
Vodafone rose $2.19 to $17.64 after the mobile phone company, Europe's largest, reported a smaller loss for its fiscal first half, raising hopes of a rebound in the telecommunications industry.
"The real focus of investors continues to be on the economy and earnings," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany Corp. "You had some news today that suggested we may have turned the corner for telecommunications. That moved things along."
Analysts say a possible war with Iraq is weighing on traders' minds.