- The Washington Times - Monday, June 4, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street recovered from a mostly down session yesterday, eking out a gain as investors brushed off another slide in Chinese stocks. The market had little in the way of corporate or economic news to give it direction, but while it was in negative territory for much of the day, in the end it shook off an 8.3 percent slide in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index.

The Chinese index had its biggest one-day drop since the Feb. 27 plunge that set off a brief global market sell-off as the Chinese government attempts to cool the country’s market boom.

Investors used yesterday to adjust positions after both the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to record closes in the previous session. The market was encouraged by economic data released last week that suggested the economy was slowing, but not too quickly, and inflation remained in check.

However, the Commerce Department reported yesterday that orders to U.S. factories were weaker than expected in April. Investors might find some information to trade on with the release today of the Institute of Supply Management’s service-sector index , but not much other information is expected.

“I think you’re seeing a combination of investors wanting to take some profit on a Monday morning, and some fear because of what happened in China,” said Ryan Detrick, a senior technical strategist for Schaffer’s Investment Research. “There’s really no major drivers in the market, so we’re really just meandering along.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.21, or 0.06 percent, to 13,676.32.

Broader stock indicators also were narrowly higher. The S&P; 500 index rose 2.84, or 0.18 percent, to 1,539.18, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 4.37, or 0.17 percent, to 2,618.29.

The Dow and S&P; again snagged record closes yesterday, and the S&P; moved closer to its trading high of 1,552.87, set in March 2000. Last week, the Dow posted a 1.19 percent gain; the S&P; 500 index rose 1.36 percent; and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 2.22 percent.

The bond market moved higher, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury falling to 4.93 percent from 4.96 percent late Friday. The Commerce Department report had some impact on the bond market on hopes weaker data will mean an interest-rate cut this year. The report showed 0.3 percent in manufacturing growth in April, and economists expected a rise of 0.7 percent after a 3.1 percent jump in March.

The dollar slipped against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Oil prices rose after a Nigerian militant group announced a one-month cease-fire, and a U.S. gasoline pipeline was restarted. A barrel of light sweet crude rose $1.13 to $66.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold slipped.

Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke, said the near term will be dominated by higher energy prices and bond yields — two catalysts that could cause the equities market to pull back. He thinks there’s complacency among investors, and that the market will need a correction before resuming an advance later in the summer.

“As investors look ahead, we’re past the earnings season, the Fed seems to be out of the way for the moment, and we’ve had a run-up in equities prices over the past few months,” he said, referring to the Federal Reserve’s current policy of stable interest rates.

In corporate news, deal-making activity continued this week. Smartphone maker Palm Inc. said yesterday it received $325 million from private equity firm Elevation Partners and announced a shake-up of its board. Palm spiked $1.48, or 9.2 percent, to $17.57.

Publisher Dow Jones & Co. fell $1.04 to $60.16 as the owner of the Wall Street Journal met with media mogul Rupert Murdoch about the possibility of an acquisition. Murdoch’s News Corp. has offered $5 billion for the company.

Oil and natural-gas producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said late Sunday it is selling natural-gas gathering systems and associated processing plants to Atlas Pipeline Partners LP for $1.85 billion. Anadarko rose $2.30, or 4.6 percent, to $51.95; Atlas shares rose $8.14, or 22.9 percent, to $39.56.

Solectron Corp. rose 51 cents, or 15.2 percent, to $3.88 after rival Flextronics International Ltd. said it would buy the contract electronics maker for about $3.6 billion in cash and stock. Flextronics fell 16 cents at $11.54.

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