- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 16, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) Buyers returned to Wall Street yesterday, lured by cheaper stock prices after six straight losing sessions but still anxious about impending earnings reports.
With fourth-quarter results imminent including Intel's, out after the close of trading investors were wary of taking many chances. Stocks gave up solid, early gains and fluctuated sharply throughout the afternoon.
"Everyone is a little cautious here. They don't need any surprises," said Larry Rice, chief investment officer at Josephthal & Co.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 32.73, or 0.3 percent, at 9,924.15 after swinging between a 94-point gain and 26-point loss.
The Dow also ended a six-session losing stretch during which it dropped 368.32, or 3.6 percent. The blue chips hadn't seen such a string since they fell for three sessions before the September 11 terror attacks, and then another five afterward.
The broader market also finished higher after a day of wide fluctuations. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.17, or 0.5 percent, to 2,000.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 7.78, or 0.7 percent, to 1,146.19.
Analysts have predicted choppy trading for the remainder of the month, saying individual earnings reports could move the market in either direction.
"As the market tries to digest each report, there is going to be some volatility," said Brian Belski, fundamental market strategist for US Bancorp Piper Jaffray.
Stocks are also vulnerable to profit taking as investors evaluate how far prices have risen since the lows after the September 11 attacks.

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