- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) Bargain hunting lifted tech stocks moderately higher yesterday, but the rest overall market fell on news that yet another company, Knight Trading, was being investigated by the government.
Analysts attributed the gains to a rebound from Monday's big sell-off, rather than any dissipation of the malaise that has clouded trading for weeks now. They also said a further advance was halted by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said the economy won't continue to grow at the first quarter's pace.
"This is a really nervous market. We have our government saying we're pretty sure there's going to be another terror attack and we've got continuing Enron-type issues," said Mike Weiner, managing director of equities at Banc One Investment Advisors. "You've got to have a sense of trust to buy equities, and a lot of people don't have that right now."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 21.95, or 0.2 percent, on the heels of Monday's 215-point drop, which sent the index to its lowest level since early February.
Broader stock indicators fared better. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 15.56, or 1.0 percent, to 1,578.12, after closing Monday at its lowest level since Oct. 2.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was little changed, rising 0.01 to 1,040.69.
The uneven close was in keeping with the choppy nature of trading all day. At various points during the session, all three major indexes were higher, but they couldn't keep their gains.
Indeed, Mr. Greenspan's comments at the International Monetary Conference in Montreal stifled a budding rally in the Dow in late afternoon. He said the economy appears to be on a positive track, but also that the first quarter's dramatic improvement is unlikely to be sustained.
Knight Trading slid $1.28, or 21.6 percent, to $4.64 on news that the Securities and Exchange Commission and National Association of Securities Dealers are looking into whether the firm made illegal trades during the technology boom. The company denied wrongdoing.
General Motors fell $1.80 to $59.45 after raising its estimates for the rest of the year but reporting a 12 percent decline in total U.S. vehicle sales during May.
And Bristol Myers Squibb dropped $1.18 to $26.65 after 29 states filed a lawsuit charging the drug company improperly hindered generic competition for its Taxol cancer drug.
Selective bargain hunting lifted some stocks.
Tyco advanced 72 cents to $16.77, reversing some of the sell-off that followed news Monday that CEO Dennis Kozlowski had resigned because of a sales-tax-violations scandal. Yesterday, prosecutors in Manhattan charged Mr. Kozlowski with avoiding more than $1 million in sales tax on paintings he bought.
Microsoft rose 56 cents to $49.98, recovering some of its decline Monday on word it had settled an accounting dispute with the SEC.
Other tech gainers included Cisco, up 75 cents to $16.08; Dell Computer, up 75 cents to $26.93; and Intel, up 88 cents to $27.50.
And energy company El Paso, which fell sharply Monday on word that a top executive had committed suicide, climbed $2.10 to $24.05.


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