Thursday, August 24, 2000

Market highlights

Computer-chip gains push stocks higher

Bloomberg News

        U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as gains in computer-chip and oil shares outweighed losses among grocery-store chains and software companies.

        Intel Corp., Applied Materials Inc. and Dell Computer Corp. advanced after an industry report showed quickening demand for semiconductor equipment. The gains drove the Nasdaq Composite Index to a third-straight advance, up 52.80, or 1.3 percent, to 4011.01.

        Exxon Mobil Corp. and other oil stocks climbed with the price of crude on evidence that U.S. inventories have shrunk close to a 24-year low, helping the Standard & Poor's 500 Index erase a 0.5 percent loss.

        Stocks fell at the opening, extending a decline that began Tuesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. They rebounded as investors made new bets on chip and oil shares.

        “It doesn't look as if the economy is overheating; it doesn't look as if we're going into a slowdown,” said Michelle Clayman, chief investment officer of New Amsterdam Partners, which oversees $1.1 billion. “I'm not surprised stocks are looking healthier.”

        The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.50, or 0.1 percent, to 11,144.65, led by Hewlett-Packard Co. The S&P 500 gained 7.84, or 0.5 percent, to 1505.97.


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