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Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Wall Street turns guardedly optimistic

AFP , NEW YORK

Wall Street's celebration over the all-time highs for the Dow Jones industrials came and went in the past week, and investors are now looking ahead with guarded optimism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 blue-chip stocks advanced 1.47 percent in the past week to 11,850.21, after breaking all-time highs hit in January 2000.

The broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 increased 1.02 percent on the week to 1,349.58 and the NASDAQ composite rallied 1.84 percent to 2,299.99.

The market continued its steady advance amid a few economic and corporate reports that appeared to suggest the US economy is slowing, although not enough to tip into recession.

The major economic report of the week came on Friday, showing 51,000 new jobs were created, a sign of cooling conditions but -- mostly due to upward revisions in prior reports -- not as weak as the headline appeared.

A key to sustaining Wall Street's gains, analysts say, will be the wave of corporate earnings reports that will show how profits are holding up in a decelerating economy.

"We generally expect good news as earnings warnings delivered to Wall Street haven't involved many high-profile names and have been fewer than what we had previously expected for the quarter given the publicity surrounding the economic slowdown," said Fred Dickson, market strategist at DA Davidson.

"We are expecting financial, healthcare, technology and telecom stocks to deliver good news. We are expecting disappointing news from the auto makers, industrial materials, home builders, companies supplying those industries and many energy companies due to the recent decline in natural gas and crude oil prices," Dickson said.

Bonds lost ground in the past week amid a shift into equities. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose to 4.696 percent from 4.633 percent a week earlier, while that on the 30-year bond increased to 4.837 percent against 4.767 percent.

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