Blue chip stocks move higher again


BLUE-chip stocks shot higher in Wall Street's final hour yesterday as interest rates fell in the bond market.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 100.46 points to close at 6,905.25 after erasing a 21 point drop in the afternoon.

Trading had been hesitant before the late rally, with investors bracing for today's key Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates.

But after trading nearly unchanged for much of the session, bonds turned higher in the afternoon, lowering long term interest rates and spurring the blue chip rally.

Although US inflation has remained fairly tame, many observers believe the central bank will nudge interest rates higher, slowing the economy as insurance against inflationary pressures.

Declines outnumbered advances by a 10-to-9 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,226 up, 1,357 down and 762 unchanged.

NYSE volume totalled 442.15 million shares, against 534.36 million in the previous session.

The Standard and Poor's 500 stock list rose 6.79 to 790.89, and the NYSE's composite index rose 3.20 to 416.00. The Nasdaq composite index fell 11.42 to 1,242.65.