Friday, September 3, 2004

Stocks rise, investors turn optimistic

By Meg Richards
The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Stocks strode higher in a late-session buying surge Thursday, as oil prices stepped back from their highs and investors shrugged off mixed economic data, focusing with renewed optimism on the government's upcoming jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 120 points.

Trading has been muted all week because of the Republican National Convention in New York and the upcoming Labor Day holiday. Investors were also looking ahead to an after-the-bell outlook from chipmaker Intel Corp. - which came in gloomy, as expected - and U.S. employment data scheduled to be announced today.

The markets grew increasingly more upbeat Thursday as rumors swirled among traders that President Bush would allude to bullish job growth numbers in his speech on the final night of the convention.

According to final results, the Dow soared 121.82, or 1.2 percent, to 10,290.28, its highest point in seven weeks.

The broader gauges also rose sharply. The Nasdaq composite index added 23.02, or 1.2 percent, to 1,873.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12.40, or 1.1 percent, to 1,118.31. The sprint sent the S&P 500 back into positive range for the year, up 0.6 percent since the start of 2004.

The fact that the market was up in spite of so many negative factors was cause for optimism, analysts said, and perhaps a sign that investors are setting aside some of their worries of the summer.

New Delta fares boost ticket sales
Delta's plan due Wednesday
Ohio tax credit struck down
Union for 8,500 Kroger workers pitches contract
Sassoon settles suit with P&G
Contract talks key to budget for symphony
Retail sales hit wilting August
Economy sluggish in spring quarter
Cintas plans labor report on suppliers
Ditch spyware first, Microsoft advises
Stocks rise, investors turn optimistic
American Airlines adds service fee for ticket purchases
Business digest
Tristate summary