- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) Fervent bargain hunters snatched up stocks discounted by two weeks of declines yesterday, sending the Dow Jones industrials soaring more than 190 points.
"What we have is a rebound from Friday. The market is in a really oversold condition," said Peter Cardillo, president and chief strategist of Global Partner Securities.
The Dow closed up 193.69, or 2.3 percent, at 8,627.40, more than wiping out Friday's loss of 104.69. The Dow ended last week down 2.5 percent, its second straight decline.
The broader market was also higher, bouncing off two consecutive losing weeks. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 37.91, or 2.8 percent, to 1,400.33, having lost 4.2 percent last week. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 20.94, or 2.4 percent, to 910.42, after last week's loss of 2.5 percent. The Russell 2000 index, the barometer of smaller-company stocks, rose 6.92, or 1.8 percent, to 394.90.
Investors sold shares in the previous two weeks to take profits from two months of rallies on Wall Street, which were based on hopes that earnings and the economy would rebound in 2003.
"Earnings are improving, and consumer spending is hanging in there," said David Sowerby, chief market analyst at Loomis, Sayles & Co. "And capital spending is slowly beginning to accelerate, and [there is the feeling] that we will have a positive environment for the economy and corporate earnings, and that stocks will respond favorably."
Brokerage-house upgrades gave the market some of its lift yesterday.
CSX rose $1.32, to $29.15, after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the stock. Delta Air Lines advanced 59 cents, to $12.75, after an upgrade from Credit Suisse First Boston.
J.C. Penney rose $1.15, to $24.75, after saying its December same-store sales were ahead of its projections.
Wal-Mart climbed $1.40, to $51.94, despite saying that it sees December same-store sales at the low end of its forecast calling for growth of 3 percent to 5 percent.
The technology sector enjoyed the biggest gains. Yesterday's tech gainers included Dell Computer, up 93 cents at $27.56, and Broadcom, up 88 cents at $17.11.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners more than 5 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was light at 1.23 billion shares, below Friday's 1.26 billion.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average finished yesterday down 0.8 percent. In Europe, France's CAC-40 rose 3.2 percent, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 2.7 percent and Germany's DAX index rose 4.2 percent.

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