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Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2002

Investors boost stocks after economic report

January 31, 2002

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— The Federal Reserve on Wednesday gave Wall Street the positive economic outlook investors have been seeking, and stocks rallied even though the central bank declined to lower interest rates again.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 144.62, or 1.5 percent, at 9,762.86. Analysts said bargain hunting also was a big contributor to the market's advance. The Dow tumbled 247.51 Tuesday amid investors' worries about companies' accounting practices, concerns that have festered following last month's collapse of Enron.

Among blue chips, Home Depot rose $2.07 to $49.07, Honeywell gained $2.06 to $32.96 and J.P. Morgan Chase advanced $1.01 to $33.06.

Kraft Foods, which raised 2002 earnings projections beyond analysts' expectations, rose $1.46 to $35.50.

The tech sector, which has suffered the brunt of the economic downturn, also strengthened. IBM rose $2.55 to $105.55 and Intel climbed $1.18 to $33.86.

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