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Energy Stocks Lead Market's Modest Rally

Bloomberg News
Tuesday, May 3, 2005; Page E03

Stocks rose yesterday as a weaker-than-expected report on manufacturing suggested that the Federal Reserve will stick to gradual increases in interest rates. A rebound in oil prices lifted energy shares such as ChevronTexaco.

American International Group led the Dow Jones industrial average higher as the company's disclosure of $1 billion in additional accounting errors signaled that its missteps were largely behind it.

Benchmarks gave up their gains following the midday rally in oil above $50 a barrel, then recovered most of their earlier advance as energy shares rose. The comeback also was aided by optimism before the Fed's meeting today. The Dow gained 59.19, or 0.6 percent, to 10,251.70. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index increased 5.31, or 0.5 percent, to 1162.16. The Nasdaq composite index rose 7.00, or 0.4 percent, to 1928.65.

The Institute for Supply Management's factory index fell to 53.3 in April from 55.2, less than the reading of 55 expected by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Investors will get more insight into the economy from tomorrow's Fed meeting on interest rates. The central bank has lifted its overnight bank lending rate by a quarter-point at each of the past seven meetings and has stuck to a plan of raising borrowing costs at a "measured" pace.

An index of energy shares gained 1.8 percent, for the biggest advance among the S&P 500's 10 industry groups. ChevronTexaco rose $1.21, to $53.21. Burlington Resources, a producer of natural gas and oil, gained $1.36, to $49.97.

AIG rallied $2.59, or 5.1 percent, to $53.44, for the biggest jump in the Dow average.

Brokerages slumped after UBS AG cut its rating on them, citing concern about demand for equities. Merrill Lynch fell 85 cents, to $53.08; Goldman Sachs Group slid $2.33, to $104.46; and Lehman Brothers Holdings declined $3.27, to $88.45. Morgan Stanley dropped $3.23, to $49.39; the 6.1 percent tumble was the steepest in the S&P 500.

Other Indicators

• The New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 34.69, to 7043.01; the American Stock Exchange index fell 1.65, to 1437.84; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 6.18, to 585.56.

• Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 2 to 1 on the NYSE, where trading volume fell to 1.57 billion shares, from 1.88 billion on Friday. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, advancers outnumbered decliners by 6 to 5 and volume totaled 1.58 billion, down from 2.07 billion.

• The price of the Treasury's 10-year note rose 94 cents per $1,000 invested, and its yield fell to 4.19 percent, from 4.20 percent on Friday.

• The dollar rose against the Japanese yen and the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 105.00 yen, up from 104.83 late Friday, and a euro bought $1.2858, down from $1.2863.

• Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery settled at $50.92, up $1.20, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

• Gold for current delivery fell to $429.50 a troy ounce, from $435.00 on Friday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.

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