- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 6, 2002

NEW YORK Investors coming back from their Fourth of July break sent share prices soaring yesterday on Wall Street, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its strongest gain since September.
By the end of a shortened trading day, the Dow had climbed 324.53, or 3.58 percent, to 9,379.50. The last time the Dow had a bigger one-day point gain was Sept. 24, when it rose 368.05 as it recovered from a precipitous drop after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In terms of points, it was the Dow's 10th-best day in history.
For the week, the Dow was up 136.24, or 1.5 percent. The broader indexes also advanced yesterday, but the gains didn't make up for losses earlier in the week.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 68.19, or 4.94 percent, to 1,448.36, while the S&P; 500 advanced 35.04, or 3.67 percent, to 989.03. For the week, the Nasdaq was down 14.85, or 1 percent, while the S&P; was just marginally lower than last week's 989.82 close.
Alan Ackerman, executive vice president of Fahnestock & Co., termed yesterday's performance "a relief rally" and pointed out: "First, there being no terrorist act on the Fourth of July, and there being plenty of traders who are bargain hunting."
Stephen Carl, head of equity trading at the Williams Capital Group, noted that volume was low and that many who were in the market appeared to be "bottom fishing." He warned that many investors remained pessimistic.
"With the chicanery and skullduggery that the CEOs are taking part in, accounting irregularities at major companies and terrorism concerns, investors are hesitant," Mr. Carl said.
Advancing shares led declining shares by more than 15 to 1. Yesterday's consolidated volume on the New York Stock Exchange in a trading session that ended at 1 p.m. was 833.8 million shares, down from Wednesday's 1.84 billion.
The latest charges involved Qwest Communications. The Wall Street Journal, quoting unidentified sources, said the Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation into Qwest's accounting practices. Qwest already faces scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission into how the Denver company booked revenue in 2000 and 2001. Its shares rose 12 cents to $1.82.
Meanwhile, Vivendi Universal rose $1.61 to $17.27 after the appointment of a new chairman who must tackle the media giant's financial woes. The ouster of former Chairman Jean-Marie Messier, while welcomed by the stock market, raised concerns the firm may be broken up.
Much of the market did well. Among financials, Citigroup posted a $2.54 gain to $39.55, while J.P. Morgan Chase was up $1.64 to $32.59 and 3M rose $3.77 to $129.87.
Shares in JDA Software fell $12, or more than 44 percent, to $15 after the Scottsdale, Ariz., company lowered its earnings forecast.
Investors appeared to brush off a disappointing jobs report from the government.
Before the market opened, the Labor Department reported that the nation's unemployment rate edged up to 5.9 percent in June, reflecting the lingering effects of last year's recession.
The increase had been expected, but analysts had anticipated that the recovery would be producing considerably more jobs than the 36,000 recorded last month.
Advancing shares led declining shares by more than 15 to 1. Yesterday's consolidated volume on the New York Stock Exchange in a trading session that ended at 1 p.m. was 833.8 million shares, down from Wednesday's 1.84 billion.


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