Stocks Head Into Holiday On High Note

More good economic news helped stocks rebound Wednesday from a one-day setback, giving the market new momentum as it reaches the Thanksgiving holiday trading break.

The Dow Jones gained 256, or 3.0%, to close at 8932.8 while the Nasdaq rose 44.3, or 3.1%, to 1488.7. The S&P 500 advanced 27, or 3.0%, to 940.

Despite stumbling Tuesday, Wall Street has ridden seven weeks of gains, thus offering investors hope that the stock market has bottomed out more than 2-1/2 years after the Internet bubble burst.

Certainly recent economic news has fueled optimism about a recovery. Earlier this week it was higher home sales and a better-than-expected quarterly GDP. On Wednesday it was:

  • A U.S. Commerce Department report showed that personal consumption increased 0.4% in October after falling 0.4% in September.
  • Commerce Department figures for “big-ticket” items — home appliances, cars, etc. — show orders increasing in October, ending a two-month decline.
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims last week dropped to their lowest level in nearly two years.
  • Nearly all tech stocks gained Wednesday. Among the top advancers was customer management software vendor Portal Software , which announced late Tuesday that it had won a contract with TransTeleCom, Russia’s top provider of broadband communications services. Shares of PRSF gained 19 cents, or 19%, to 1.19.

    Access management software provider Netegrity finished up 56 cents, or 19.2%, to 3.47.

    Server vendor Sun Microsystems gained 21 cents, or 5.6%, to 3.97 after announcing that it would meet Q2 revenue goals.

    Firewall vendor Check Point Software Technologies rose 82 cents, or 5.1%, to 17.02 after renewing software partnership deals with IBM and Siemens.

    Financial markets will close Thursday for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. There will be a half-day of trading on Friday.

    Note: There will be no Market Close on Friday, Nov. 29. Market Close will return on Monday, Dec. 2. We wish you all a happy Holiday.

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