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Archive for Saturday, February 12, 2005

Stocks surge; Dow up for year

Analysts mixed on whether momentum will continue

February 12, 2005

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— The Dow Jones industrial average moved into positive territory for the year on Friday as investors piled back into the market. But Wall Street finished the week mixed as tech stocks lagged the Dow components.

A flood of buy orders from institutional traders, impressed with the market's ability to hold on to last week's gains, pushed stocks higher. Analysts said the market nearly had recovered from January's selloff, but they remain split on whether the market has the potential to continue its run upward.

"I admit, the market's acting better than I thought it would," said Ken Tower, chief market strategist for Schwab's CyberTrader. "The market was quite oversold over the past few days, and I think we're bouncing off of that. It remains to be seen, however, whether this can be maintained."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46.40, or 0.43 percent, to 10,796.01, after gaining 85.50 Thursday. It was the Dow's best showing since Dec. 30.

Broader stock indicators also moved higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose up 8.29, or 0.69 percent, at 1,205.30, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 23.56, or 1.15 percent, to 2,076.66. Both remained down for the year, however.

Stocks experienced a volatile week as investors abandoned riskier technology shares and small-cap stocks, leaning instead toward large-caps and blue chips. A relative dearth of economic data added to Wall Street's uncertainty. For the week, the Dow rose 0.75 percent and the S&P climbed 0.19 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 0.48 percent.

While earnings have been generally positive, investors have been quick to sell off stocks that failed to meet Wall Street's forecasts. That selling has overshadowed some of the market's fundamental strengths, according to Brian Belski, market strategist at Piper Jaffray.

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