- Title: USA: Stocks rise after four days losses
- Date: 2nd April 2003
- Summary: (W8) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (APRIL 1, 2003) (REUTERS) TV: VARIOUS OIL TRADERS AT THE NYMEX (4 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 17th April 2003 13:00
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Economy
- Reuters ID: LVADJWSCZNYL32EEWX52VL1W8NCZ
- Story Text: On Wall Street stocks were up as investors hoped that the war in Iraq was improving for U.S forces and unexpectedly weak manufacturing data failed to dent the markets.
Stocks rose on Tuesday (April 1) snapping four days of losses, as investors looked past unexpectedly weak manufacturing data and bet the war in Iraq may have taken a turn for the better for U.S.-led forces.
Stocks got a lift after a message by Saddam Hussein was read on state television by Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, renewing speculation that the Iraqi president may not have survived bombing raids. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the fact he didn't show up was "interesting" and said only Iraqi "unconditional surrender"
would end the war.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 77.73 points, or 0.97 percent, at 8,069.86, according to the latest data, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 10.29 points, or 1.21 percent, to 858.47. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.10 points, or 0.53 percent, at 1,348.27.
Stocks erased early losses and rose as investors saw no disasters in data from the Institute of Supply Management.
U.S. manufacturing suffered a surprisingly severe slowdown in March, the institute said, feeding fears that the economy as a whole may be contracting.
Upbeat corporate news from American Airlines, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy, and others helped lift the market. But the mood was tempered by worries about the economic impact of a potentially protracted war in Iraq, as well as a batch of profit warnings from corporate America, including Best Buy Co. Inc. and Pier 1 Imports Inc.
The government said construction spending fell 0.2 percent in February. It was the first monthly decline since August but was still surprisingly strong as builders poured money into homes at a record high level.
There were signs, however, that corporate America is still struggling.
Home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. warned that its first-quarter and fiscal-year earnings would fall below estimates because the war on Iraq is cutting into sales.
Citing unanticipated cost hikes, world No. 2 aluminium maker Alcan Inc. said its 2003 first-quarter profit would be at, or slightly below, the lower end of its guidance.
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