- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) Wall Street got some better-than-expected earnings news yesterday, but managed only a tentative advance amid lingering doubts about the overall health of companies and the economy.
Analysts said the relatively low prices of some stocks were attracting buyers, but those discounts weren't enough to discourage selling in the absence of concrete indications that business is likely to strengthen in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
After the market closed, Intel met third-quarter expectations and IBM exceeded forecasts by a penny per share. The market fluctuated throughout the session in anticipation of the reports, but analysts said the companies' earnings were unlikely to trigger a rally because both forecast a difficult fourth quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 36.61 at 9,384.23, after a minuscule 3-point gain on Monday.
Broader stock indicators were higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 7.56 to 1,097.54 while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 25.76 to 1,722.07.
The advance came after a pause on Monday, when doubts about earnings left the major stock indexes narrowly mixed. Yesterday, the stocks of several big companies moved higher on better-than-expected earnings, but those gains failed to translate into a broader rally.
Johnson & Johnson rose $1.05 to $56.77 after its third-quarter results came in 2 cents a share higher than analysts expected. Discount broker Charles Schwab also was higher, advancing $1.10 to $12.10 after it beat analysts' predictions.
Among technology stocks, attention was focused on bellwethers Intel and IBM, whose performance is considered an indicator of the broader sector's direction.
IBM beat earnings expectations by a penny but predicted a challenging fourth quarter. IBM rose $2.40 to $104.25 in after-hours trading after ending the regular session down 15 cents at $101.85.

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