Thursday, August 2, 2007


Stocks close up again; profits outshine credit woes
Dow adds 101 points in weaker replay of prior day's final 30-minute surge

NEW YORK - The stock market surged into Thursday's close, extending the prior session's manic rally on bright profit reports from the likes of Nokia Corp., Starbucks Corp., and Dow component Walt Disney Co., while a $4.4 billion deal helped offset worries about the credit climate.

"Many investors (are) probably happy to see the market build on yesterday's gains ahead of the monthly employment report" slated for release Friday morning, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke LLC.

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$INDU13,463.33, +100.96, +0.8% ) closed 101 points higher at 13,463.3, with 25 of its 30 posting gains, with the Dow gaining 1.9% over the last two sessions.
Thursday's advance marked a softer, gentler replay of Wednesday's wild ride higher, which had the Dow rallying 150 points in the final 30 minutes of trade.

CKFR45.40, +8.57, +23.3% ) , helping assuage worries that a tightening credit market would hinder deals. "It does look like a credit crunch is on the horizon," said Cardillo. Fiserv's stock ended with a 1.54% loss, while CheckFree advanced 23.2%. Read more.

Volatility plays

Trading volumes remained high, contributing to the market's volatility.
At the New York Stock Exchange, trading volume hit 1.9 billion shares, with advancing issues topping decliners 2 to 1.
At the Nasdaq, nearly 2.5 billion shares exchanged hands, with advancing stocks besting decliners 4 to 3.

"Volume was down substantially from yesterday but still about 200 million shares above the market's 3-month average," said Sheldon.

"We're not seeing broad participation on up days and big volumes on down days," said Paul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates. "The momentum peak was February, since then, we've been in a corrective mode."

"What we're seeing in the market is similar to the trends we've seen over the last several sessions - heightened volatility," said Mike Malone, trading analyst at Cowen & Co. "Investors are looking to sell on strength, but on the other hand there is some valuation support to the downside."

The market is likely to trade in a volatile, but range-bound fashion for the foreseeable future, both Malone and Cardillo said.

"The market is preparing itself for tomorrow's jobs report," said Cardillo of Friday's release of unemployment rate, which was expected to hold at 4.5%.

Overseas calm

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