- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks moved higher yesterday as investors grew hopeful that the interest rate tightening cycle might soon draw to a close, but a late-session rise in oil prices limited Wall Street’s gains. Bonds rallied, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note below 4 percent.

Data from the Institute for Supply Management indicated that the manufacturing sector is continuing to expand, albeit at a slower pace, and a component within the index that measures prices paid by purchasing managers suggested inflation remains in check. That, combined with an influx of capital amid questions about whether the proposed European Union constitution would be approved, added up to good news for U.S. markets, said Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 81.58, or 0.8 percent, to 10,549.06, rising as much as 123.51 before giving up some of its gains as oil prices surged more than $2.60 per barrel.

Broader stock indicators also moved sharply higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 10.72, or 0.90 percent, at 1,202.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 19.64, or 1 percent, to 2,087.86.

Trading at the NYSE was halted several minutes before the market closed due to communications problems.

Bonds continued to build on Tuesday’s rally; the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 3.88 percent, from 3.98 percent late Tuesday. The euro slid to its lowest level against the dollar in eight months as voters in the Netherlands joined France in rejecting the EU constitution, putting any economic reforms it might bring on hold. Gold prices rose.

Oil futures soared, climbing $2.63 to $54.60 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on concerns that strong demand for diesel will leave it and other distillate fuels, including heating oil, in short supply later this year. Government inventory data, due today, was also expected to influence trading.

In company news, shares of Google Inc. climbed 3.9 percent, or $10.73, to $288, after analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston raised the target price for the stock to $350 per share from $275 per share. Piper Jaffray raised its target price for Google to $300 on Tuesday.

Delta Air Lines Inc. was down 3 cents at $3.82 after the company said it renegotiated its credit agreement with General Electric Co.’s GE Capital division. The deal allows the airline to free up more money to cope with rising fuel prices.


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