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Dow Climbs More Than 300 Points

July 24, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices turned around sharply Wednesday, shaking off an early slump as investors welcomed positive news about corporate scandals, the issue that has brought the market to five-year lows. The Dow Jones industrials soared more than 300 points in late afternoon.

The arrest of the founder of Adelphia Communications Corp., who has been accused of looting the now-bankrupt cable company, lifted the spirits of investors demoralized by a string of accounting and ethics problems.

The market was also buoyed by news that negotiators for the House and Senate have reached agreement on legislation to crack down on corporate fraud. President Bush has said he wants the legislation done this week.

Wednesday’s late surge was one of the biggest signs of life in the market in weeks. However, it was still indicative of the volatility that has swept over Wall Street lately.

After falling more than 170 points in early trading, the Dow was up 314.08, or 4 percent, at 8,016.42 in midafternoon.

The Nasdaq composite index was up 18.85, or 1.5 percent, at 1,247.90. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 25.60, or 2.3 percent, at 823.30.

The market has been struggling over the past several weeks as brief respites of buying on improving fundamental data, such as better corporate earnings and good signs about the economy, have been overwhelmed by pessimism linked to a string of corporate scandals.

Rod Smith, an investment strategist with Wachovia Securities in Richmond, Va., said the market was bound to hit a turnaround given the rapid rates of declines over the past few weeks. The Dow lost 840 points over the past four sessions alone.

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