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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks moved higher for the third straight day Wednesday as investors felt more secure about placing bets in a volatile market.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 30 points in the opening minutes of trading, extending its 424-point gain of the previous two sessions.

The Nasdaq composite index was up 13 points while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 5.

But while the market seemed on a surer footing following last week's plunge, analysts cautioned that uncertainty remains about the economy and U.S. plans to retaliate for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

``Investors want to know what's going to happen going forward. And we still don't know,'' said Will Braman, chief investment officer at John Hancock Funds. ``We should start to get some hints when third-quarter earnings are released.''

The Dow closed Tuesday up 56.11 at 8,659.97, bringing its two-day advance to more than 424 points. The blue chip index plunged 1,369 points last week.

The Nasdaq rose 2.24 to 1,501.64, while the S&P 500 index gained 8.82 to 1,012.27.

Analysts were generally pleased with Wall Street's performance, noting the indexes had withstood several waves of profit-taking Tuesday from Monday's big rally, when the Dow rose 368 points.


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