- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) Strength in the technology sector sent stocks soaring yesterday in a rally that gave investors hope the market's post-September 11 advance still had momentum.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average scored a triple-digit advance as buying gained intensity late in the session. But analysts doubted that the market was beginning another extended run upward, noting that business and the economy still showed few signs they were improving.
The Dow closed up 129.88, or 1.3 percent, at 9,893.84, recovering all of a 87.60 loss the previous session. It was the index's biggest advance in three weeks.
Broader indexes also fared well. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index was up 58.20, or nearly 3.1 percent, at 1,963.10. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 14.90, or 1.3 percent, to 1,144.80.
"I'm not seeing any news today that is specifically causing this, but it looks like investors are anticipating better times ahead and saying that 'We better own stocks because the tide is getting ready to turn,'" said Bill Barker, investment-strategy consultant with RBC Dain Rauscher.
"It also could be seasonality. December historically is a pretty good month for the market, and we usually do get a year-end rally," he said.
The market also got a lift from comments by President Bush, who, speaking to a Florida audience, demanded action from Congress on an economic-stimulus package.
Networking company Cisco Systems rose 66 cents to $20.52 after the company's chief executive told analysts November orders met expectations, although he also implied the company's outlook hadn't changed.
Rival Ciena rose $1.67 to $18.73. Other tech gainers included Hewlett-Packard, which climbed $1.01 to $22.50.
The enthusiasm spread to other sectors. Home Depot rose $1.31 to $47.70 after Merrill Lynch added the stock to its focus list, suggesting it expected a strong performance ahead.
Other retail stocks showed strength, too. Wal-Mart rose 59 cents to $55.17.
Enron rose 46 cents, or 115 percent, to 86 cents on speculation that up to $1.5 billion in new financing from J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup would help rescue the energy company, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday. J.P. Morgan Chase gained 67 cents to $37.22, while Citigroup advanced 92 cents to $47.83.
Market watchers cautioned against too much exuberance, however. They note political uncertainty remains significant in recent days, the already-tense situation in the Middle East has escalated with more fighting between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Also, fourth-quarter-warnings will start coming out later this month.

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