Stocks rise in light trading

Friday, November 23, 2001

AP Business WriterNEW YORK (AP) -- Investors returned from the Thanksgiving holiday in a buying mood Friday, sending blue chip stocks to strong gains and reversing the profit-taking trend of recent sessions.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended an abbreviated trading session up 125.03 to 9,959.71. For the week, the Dow climbed 92.72 points, or 0.9 percent.

Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 13.31 to 1,150.34, to end the week up 1 percent. The Nasdaq composite index rose 28.15 to 1,903.20, to end the week up 0.2 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a nearly 3-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 512.75 million shares, down sharply from 1.28 billion in Wednesday's session.

The rise in stock prices, despite the absence of news, shows some investors see buying opportunities after market backtracking earlier this week, analysts said.

"We did see some selling. We did see some money taken off the table. But there are bargain hunters that refuse to sit idly by as optimism appears to be increasing," said Alan Ackerman, executive vice president at Fahnestock & Co. in New York.

Friday's gains reversed the trend of earlier this week, but are in line with the market's recent surge, which has seen stocks gain about 20 percent from the lows that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Stock markets closed at 1 p.m. Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Gainers included Ericsson, whose chairman said this week he expects less competition in the market for third-generation wireless technology. The company's stock rose 33 cents to $5.55.

Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest retailer, rose 68 cents to $55.80 as consumers headed to stores on the day regarded as the official start to the holiday shopping season. Toys R Us shares also rose, up 95 cents to $23.05.

Enron, whose acquisition by Dynegy Inc. is now being questioned by investors, fell 30 cents to $4.71.

The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller company stocks, rose 6.11 to 458.42.

Overseas, markets were mixed. In Europe, Germany's DAX index rose 0.2 percent, while Britain's FT-SE 100 was off 1 percent, and France's CAC-40 fell 0.6 percent. Japanese markets were closed Friday for a national holiday.

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