Dow Gains 36.04 to 8,602.65
NEW YORK (AP) _ Blue-chip stocks escaped with small gains today, but only after a bigger rally unraveled as a long list of global uncertainties proved too hard to ignore.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished just 36.04 points higher at 8,602.65 after retreating from a 122-point gain and briefly dipping into negative terrain.
Several broad-market indexes also finished higher, but the number of declining issues surpassed advancers despite trailing by a substantial margin in the morning.
The opening rally was fueled by big gains in the technology and financial sectors, the two industries deemed most vulnerable to the global economic turmoil that has rattled the market for more than a month.
There were mixed signals today as to whether domestic business activity will remain vigorous enough to offset the economic slowdown overseas.
A national realty group reported that sales of existing single-family homes jumped 4 percent in July to 4.93 million units, surpassing the previous record set in March of 4.89 million.
But while strong homes sales continue to fuel the economy with demand for building materials and furnishings, a separate report showed that consumer confidence fell for a second straight month in August as the economic crises in Asia and Russia roiled world markets repeatedly.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 36.04 to 8,602.65, barely trimming the gap from July 17′s record of 9,337.97.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 4.68 to 1,092.82, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 7.17 to 1,797.99.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by an 11-to-9 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,370 up, 1,675 down and 505 unchanged.
NYSE volume totaled 663.76 million shares as of 4 p.m., up from 557.23 million on Monday.
The NYSE composite index rose 1.29 to 545.01, and the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 2.46 to 646.86.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 1.94 to 393.70.