- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) Wall Street's latest attempt at a rally fizzled yesterday, as investors decided they were better off collecting their small wins rather than risking further pullbacks.
Blue chips closed slightly higher, while technology shares stalled.
The market was somewhat unnerved by word that an American citizen had been arrested for plotting to explode a radioactive "dirty bomb." Although the news didn't prompt a sell-off, it did limit the market's upside.
"All of these things have investors on the edge because they lower the premium that investors are willing to pay for long-term assets," said Ronald J. Hill, investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 55.73, or 0.6 percent, at 9,645.40, despite rising as much as 128 earlier in the session. Last week, the average fell 335.58.
Broader stock indicators fluctuated. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.21, or 0.3 percent, to 1,030.74, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 4.79, or 0.3 percent, to 1,530.69. It was the Nasdaq's third consecutive losing session.
The Russell 2000 index fell 1.22 to 469.29.
Although stocks were higher for much of the day, trading volume was light, making the gains more susceptible to pullbacks. Indeed, by late in the day, many stocks had faded.
Williams Cos. closed down 11 cents at $8.59 after the company lowered its 2002 forecast but announced efforts to reduce exposure to its energy risk management operations. Duke Energy dropped 91 cents to $29.09 after Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock, citing pressure created by a government investigation into whether energy traders manipulated prices in California.
In technology, Nokia dropped 30 cents to $12 ahead of a midquarter update expected today. Many analysts are expecting the telecommunications company to lower its forecast.
Intel fell 93 cents to $21.07, adding to its 18.5 percent loss Friday after warning that second-quarter sales and profits would be lower than expected. But Instinet gained 5 cents to $7.10 on word it was buying rival Island in a $508 million deal. Both companies have platforms that trade stocks for investors.
Retail was one of the few bright spots. Wal-Mart advanced $1.97 to $56.40 on word its June sales at stores open at least a year should be at the high end of forecasts, while Kohl's rose $1.17 to $75.
Stocks have been falling for several weeks, but investors have not rushed in to take advantage of the declines. Analysts say a mix of lackluster earnings prospects, fears of more terror attacks and ongoing accounting scandals have made stocks appear more risky and therefore less attractive to many investors.
Even an upbeat report by Goldman Sachs chief investment strategist Abby Joseph Cohen that the Dow and S&P; should be trading at levels 20 percent higher than they are failed to inspire buying. Ms. Cohen said the Dow should be at 11,300 and the S&P; 500 should be at 1,300.

"It's more of the same. There are a lot of investigations going on right now. And it's hard to have a lot of confidence," said Robert Harrington, head of listed block trading at UBS Warburg. "The mood is cautious, because every time you take on more risk, you get hurt."
Advancing issues led decliners 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 1.49 billion shares, compared with 2.16 billion shares Friday.


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