- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 1, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) Cautious trading surfaced on Wall Street yesterday as investors bid tech stocks modestly higher but sold blue chips after a government report that the nation's economy shrank at a smaller-than-expected rate in the third quarter.
Analysts said investors were torn between a desire to bargain hunt after big sell-offs Monday and Tuesday and an inclination to sell based on the uncertain economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a choppy session down 46.84, or 0.6 percent, at 9,075.14, having risen as much as 100 earlier.
The Dow's drop came on the heels of a 422-point loss Monday and Tuesday.
The broader market was stronger but still ended the day mixed as most buying was done in the technology sector.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 22.79, or 1.4 percent, to 1,690.20, having lost 101 points Monday and Tuesday. But the Standard & Poor's 500 index was essentially unchanged, off 0.01 at 1,059.78. The S&P; lost 44 points Monday and Tuesday.
Analysts said the slippage this week was expected given that the market quickly recovered the steep losses in the first week of trading after the September 11 attacks.
At the end of last week, the Dow had recovered all but 60 points of the 1,369 it lost in the week that trading resumed.
The Nasdaq and S&P; were trading above their pre-attack levels. As of yesterday, the Nasdaq was 5 points from where it stood Sept. 10; the S&P;, down 33.
Yesterday's buying activity was stronger and more widespread earlier in the session, after the government said the economy shrank 0.4 percent from July through September.
Analysts, worried about the economy's performance in the weeks after the attacks, had been expecting a 1.0 percent decline.
Nonetheless, the drop in gross domestic product, the nation's total output of goods and services, was the biggest since 1991 when the country was deep in the last recession, the Commerce Department reported.
Technology stocks, the market's most battered issues, were the strongest, holding their gains as other sectors waffled. Dell Computer gained 74 cents to $23.98, Broadcom jumped $1.71 to $34.41, and Intel rose 88 cents to $24.42.


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