Dow extends recovery, gaining 115 points

The Associated Press
Sunday March 25, 2001


NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a horrific two weeks with a show of strength Friday, boosting the Dow Jones industrials by 115 points and extending Thursday’s late rebound from a nearly 400-point drop. Technology stocks, now seen as some of the best buys in the market, led the advance. 

But while the Dow’s rise was encouraging, analysts said it was unlikely the stock market’s slide had indeed hit bottom on Thursday. 

“Let’s not mistake this for a beginning of a bull market move,” said Charles White, portfolio manager at Avatar Associates. “It’s a Friday with no economic reports and little news in the marketplace. There’s not too much to be made of what’s going on today.” 

The Dow, which until last week was resilient to the massive selloffs that devastated the Nasdaq and technology stocks over the past several months, has been stricken by fears the weakening economy is taking a heavy toll in other industries. 

But the overall market did look better Friday. High-tech issues, beaten down so badly until recently, were the market leaders Friday, but it was likely that their low prices made them look more attractive – not any shift in market sentiment about a sector still seen as highly risky. 

IBM helped lead the Dow’s advance, rising $4.58 per share to $93.68. Microsoft, also a Dow stock was up $2.56 at $56.56. 

Cellphone maker Nokia rose $1.37 to $26.37 after announcing plans to buy back up to $50 million worth of stock. 

There were still signs the market has plenty to worry about, and that blue chips, once seen as safe havens in a weak economy, are still vulnerable to declines. 

Procter & Gamble, another Dow stock, fell $2.55 to $60.20 after announcing Thursday it was slashing 9,600 jobs to restore long-term growth. General Motors fell 17 cents to $52.13, still taking some punishing for announcing on Wednesday it will temporarily halt operations at more plants as it reduces bloated vehicle inventories. 

Analysts said investors were split over whether the rally would instill enough confidence to continue the buying next week. 

“They’re not all on the same side of the fence,” said Eugene Mintz, a financial market analyst and vice president at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Some investors may be inclined to play it safe or sell, while “others are saying, ’these are good companies. I’m going to buy,”’ he said. 

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners nearly 2-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market. The Russell 2000 index, which tracks the shares of smaller companies, rose 10.47 to 443.27. 

Consolidated volume, which includes all NYSE-listed shares, came to 1.58 billion, down sharply from the near-record 2.04 billion traded Thursday. 

Overseas market were higher Friday. Japan’s Nikkei stock average closed up 2.8 percent. In Europe, Germany’s DAX index rose 2.9 percent, Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 1.6 percent, and France’s CAC-40 climbed 2.6 percent. 


On the Net: 

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com 

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com