Investors struggled but managed to turn Wall Street’s best performance this year into a two-day advance.
NEW YORK (AP) — Investors struggled but managed to turn Wall Street’s best performance this year into a two-day advance.
Stocks ended with modest gains Wednesday but the Dow Jones industrial average still recorded its first two-day climb since Feb. 5-6. The buying was far more subdued than on Tuesday when Citigroup Inc.’s upbeat assessment of its business sent investors rushing into the market in part to cover bets that stocks would continue to slide. The Dow on Wednesday ended up nearly 4 points after jumping 379 the day before.
The session’s mood was more tentative than some investors might have hoped for but investor expectations are so modest that even holding most of the gains after the rally would have seen as a victory.
Investors nervous about the economy likely will need more good news to keep up the buying, analysts said.
“People are looking past the sizzle and saying where’s the steak,” said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for ChannelCapitalResearch.com.
Financial stocks that led the market’s huge rally Tuesday continued to pull ahead Wednesday. Tech stocks rose after an analyst raised Hewlett-Packard Co.’s rating.
Analysts were again cautioning that the market remains deeply troubled by the problems in the banking industry and the impact of the recession on companies in all industries.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 3.91, or 0.1 percent, to 6,930.40. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.76, or 0.2 percent, to 721.36, while the Nasdaq composite index, which has a heavy representation of tech stocks, rose 13.36, or 1 percent, to 1,371.64.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies slipped 1.45, or 0.4 percent, to 366.30.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.75 billion shares.