- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through the 10,000 barrier for all of one minute yesterday, reaching a significant milestone in Wall Street’s remarkable recovery from the bear market before retreating on profit taking.

Stocks moved higher as investors picked up shares on anticipation that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates low for some time. But by the time the Fed issued its decision in the afternoon to leave rates unchanged, investors were looking to lock in some gains, analysts said.

The index of 30 blue-chip stocks moved past its milestone shortly after trading began. It was the first time since May 31 last year that the Dow had been above 10,000 and marked a solid comeback from the five-year low of 7,286.27 on Oct. 9 last year.

Last week, the Nasdaq Composite Index crossed 2,000 for the first time in nearly two years.

The Dow pushed up 37.85 to hit 10,003.12 before pulling back and closing at 9,923.42, down 41.85, or 0.4 percent. In the previous session, the blue-chip average had climbed 102.59.

The broader market also finished lower. The Nasdaq fell 40.53, or 2.1 percent, at 1,908.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index declined 9.12, or 0.9 percent, to 1,060.18.

As expected, the Fed voted to keep short-term interest rates at a 45-year low. It said the rates could be maintained “for a considerable period,” allaying investor concerns about a rate increase in the near future.

Stocks have pushed higher in recent weeks on investor expectations for a stronger economy. But analysts wonder whether the market might be due for some pullbacks or sideways trading, citing somewhat high share valuations.

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