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Stocks Start Higher on Wall Street

December 20, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices started higher on Wall Street Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 88 points. Gainers outnumbered losers by about 11 to 4 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14 points and the Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Index added seven points.

Friday was Wall Street’s first ever quadruple-witching session.

It used to be that once a quarter, there would be a simultaneous expiration of contracts on stock options, stock index options and stock index futures. That was known as a triple-witching.

Now, with the advent of trading of single-stock futures, it’s a four-way expiration.

The result is expectations of heavier-than-normal trading volume, and perhaps some increased volatility.

Stocks closed lower Thursday for the third straight day as worries about a war with Iraq continued to weigh on the market.

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