Stocks Move Higher; Dow Up 105.75
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks rose today as investors cheered the rebound in the dollar against the Japanese yen.
In afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 105.75 at 10,843.21, more than erasing its 63-point loss on Thursday.
Broader stock indicators were also higher today. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 17.36 at 1,335.84, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 52.63 at 2,859.35.
Stocks benefited today from the rising dollar in foreign-exchange markets. The dollar, which on Wednesday sank to a 3 1/2-year low of 103.20 yen, was trading near 107 yen this afternoon after rising above 105 yen on Thursday.
The dollar has struggled against the yen in recent months amid a recovery in the Japanese economy, which has enticed traders to again invest there.
Investors fear a weaker dollar because it makes imports more expensive, setting the stage for a rise in inflation in the United States. A falling dollar also can encourage foreign investors to pull out of U.S. stocks to seek more attractive returns elsewhere.
``If foreigners get worried about the dollar depreciating, they are more inclined to not invest in U.S. securities or will even shift money out of the United States,″ said Anthony O’Bryan, a market analyst at A.G. Edwards & Sons in St. Louis. ``So a rising dollar clearly helps investor sentiment.″
Japan’s government, meantime, worries that if the yen rises too sharply, it will cut short a recovery from that country’s deep recession by making Japanese goods too expensive to compete effectively on world markets.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department reported today that new construction of homes and apartments rose 0.4 percent in August, keeping a brisk pace despite rising mortgage rates.
But new building permits, considered a gauge of future construction, fell by 1.8 percent in August, after being unchanged in July.
Gains in technology shares helped boost the entire stock market today. Microsoft was up 2 3/16 at 95 15/16 and Intel gained 2 at 84 5/8.
But eBay tumbled 10 1/4 to 141 1/2 following reports that Microsoft Corp.’s MSN and Excite at Home will join a competing auction network.
American Express was the strongest Dow component, rising 4 5/8 to 141 1/8.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5-to-4 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 566.98 million shares with two hours of trading remaining, up from 524.43 million shares as of the same time on Thursday.
Volume was higher due to the ``triple witching″ session, a once-a-quarter event when contracts on stock options, index options, and index futures all expire.
The Russell 2000 index was up 3.33 at 433.58.