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Stocks paced for stellar September

Sat., Sept. 25, 2010, midnight

NEW YORK – Stocks rose sharply on Friday, giving the market its fourth straight week of gains, after a big increase in orders for manufactured goods allowed investors to shake off several days of doldrums.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped nearly 200 points, its first gain in three days. The market has now had its longest winning streak since an eight-week run ending in late April that pushed stocks to their highest levels of the year.

A surprise jump in durable goods orders and corporate spending boosted U.S. stocks, as did a strong earnings report from Nike Inc. and an increase in new home sales last month.

Gold prices climbed to another record, briefly touching $1,300 an ounce, as investors remained cautious. The dollar and Treasury prices fell.

Stocks have been volatile in recent days as investors react to the latest economic reports. Much of the economic news throughout September has been better than expected, pushing indexes sharply higher during the month after a big sell-off in August.

Zahid Siddique, an associate portfolio manager at Gabelli Equity Trust Inc., said traders are only reacting to the latest news because there still isn’t certainty about the pace of recovery.

“Based on the daily data they get, they move the market one way or another,” Siddique said.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 197.84, or 1.9 percent, to close at 10,860.26. The Dow has risen 8.4 percent in September, but is only up 4.1 percent for the year and is still 3.1 percent below its 2010 high reached on April 26. The Dow is on track for its best performance for September, usually a weak month for stocks, since 1939.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 23.84, or 2.1 percent, to 1,148.67, ending a three-day losing streak.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 54.14, or 2.3 percent, to 2,381.22. The technology-focused index has been the best performer during this month’s rally, jumping 12.6 percent.

For the week, the Dow is up 2.4 percent, the S&P 2.1 percent, the Nasdaq 2.8 percent.


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