- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors placated by stable inflation and steady rates extended the stock market’s rebound to a second day yesterday, but many Wall Street observers saw the advance as a continued break from selling, not the start of a new rally.

“We’ve found a good support zone and we’re just getting a little bounce,” said Stephen Sachs, director of trading for Rydex Investments. “In the near term, perhaps over the next week or so, we’ll probably trade higher. But I don’t expect that to last too long.”

The gains marked the first time all three major indexes posted two straight positive days since Feb. 10-11, but they remain in negative territory for the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115.63, or 1.1 percent, to 10,300.30, building on Tuesday’s 81.78 gain. The other major indexes were also sharply higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 13.05, or 1.2 percent, to 1,123.75, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 33.67, or 1.7 percent, at 1,976.76.

“I think we were a little bit oversold over the past week,” said Todd Leone, managing director of equity trading at SG Cowen Securities. “But you’ve got inflation under control, the Fed came out with its statement and the market is responding positively.”

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 4-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange.

, where consolidated volume came to 1.96 billion shares, compared with 1.92 billion on Tuesday.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 11.93, or 2.1 percent, to 578.57.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average jumped 1.7 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.6 percent for the session, France’s CAC-40 closed 1.9 percent higher and Germany’s DAX index climbed 2 percent.

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