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Stocks Turn Higher; Dow Up 17.44

May 12, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks turned higher this morning after stumbling early in the session amid nagging fears that the inflation-wary Federal Reserve may slow the economy.

At 11 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 17.44 at 9,108.96 after bouncing back from an 8-point dip. On Monday, the blue-chip barometer finished just 36 points higher after retreating from a 135-point gain.

Broad-market indicators, which finished Monday’s session slightly lower, also wiped out their early losses.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 3.20 at 1,109.84, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was up 4.65 at 1,852.72.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a narrow margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 184.15 million shares, on par with the modest pace of the past week.

The NYSE composite index was up 1.07 at 576.34, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was up 0.69 at 744.72.

Overseas, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.4 percent. In afternoon trading, Frankfurt’s DAX index was down 0.8 percent and London’s FT-SE 100 was down 0.8 percent.

On Monday, an early rally fizzled as a $62 billion merger agreement between SBC Communications and Ameritech provided only a fleeting distraction from two inflation reports due this week and next Tuesday’s Federal Reserve meeting.

Stocks and bonds have struggled the past two weeks because of sudden fears the central bank might slow the economy with higher interest rates.

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