Stock market climbs modestly at the opening bell

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

AP Business WriterNEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market climbed modestly at the opening bell Wednesday, a day after holding steady amid the political turmoil.

In the first few minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 30 points.

On Tuesday, the Dow closed down 17.30 at 8,903.40 after giving up gains that had lifted the index back above the 9,000 level. The Nasdaq fell 24.47 to 1,555.08, and the Standard & Poor's 500 declined 6.03 to 1,032.74.

The refrain from heavy selling was welcome after the big sell-off on Monday, the first day of trading since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The blue chips lost a record 684.81 points and fell below 9,000 for the first time in 2 1/2 years.

"Uncertainty is a primary enemy for the market, and the events of the last week have created a high level of uncertainty," said Ricky Harrington, technical analyst for Wachovia Securities.

Tuesday's losers included travel services and insurance. Online travel agent Expedia dropped $4.36 to $19.64. Winners included airlines, which suffered punishing losses a day earlier. AMR, the parent of American Airlines, gained $2 to $20, and United Airlines rose $1.49 to $18.99.

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