- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Wall Street bounced back yesterday after a week of declines, bolting higher as bargain hunters picked up stocks on expectations of a year-end rally.
Still, volume was light, and the Federal Reserve's widely expected decision to leave short-term interest rates unchanged did little to lure more buyers into the market. Analysts said many were avoiding commitments until they see more evidence the economy is back on track.
"Right now, the market is trying to regain its confidence," said Robert Harrington, co-chief of listed block trading at UBS Warburg. "The next step people would like to see is some signs that growth is returning as opposed to just stabilizing."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100.85, or 1.2 percent, to close at 8,574.26. Prior to yesterday, blue chip stocks dropped 458 points over seven sessions.
The broader market also finished higher. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 23.62, or 1.7 percent, to 1,390.76. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12.45, or 1.4 percent, to 904.45.
The Fed, in its statement, said currently low rates are "providing important ongoing support to economic activity."
Analysts say Wall Street's recent declines aren't surprising given the market's two-month rally. They say many investors have been cashing in for quick profits but are looking to push stocks higher by month's end.
Avon Products rose $2.50 to $54.75 after raising its fourth-quarter outlook above the company's estimates and in line with analysts' expectations.
Tribune gained 70 cents to $45.04 after the publishing company said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to match estimates.
Nokia fell 59 cents to $17.43 after the world's largest mobile-phone maker said its fourth-quarter revenue would be weaker than expected.

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