Despite Obstacles, Solid Strides

Sunday, July 10, 2005


The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index climbed back to within a sliver of break-even for the year last week as the stock market shrugged off another spike in oil prices and the terrorist bombings in London.

After gaining 17 points for the week, the S&P 500 was up to 1211.86, just 0.06 below where it began the year.

The S&P is the index most watched by professionals. They consider it the best measure of stock performance because its 500 stocks give a broader picture of the market than the 30 companies in the Dow Jones industrial average.

After gaining 146 points last week, the Dow is up to 10,449.14, which left it off 334 points, a little more than 3 percent, for the year. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 55.5 points, to 2112.88, still down 63 points, or 2.9 percent, since the start of 2005.

The week's gains, in the face of obstacles such as bombings and hurricane-driven oil prices, encouraged hope that stocks will recover in the second half of the year. The real test could come in the next two or three weeks when second-quarter profit reports begin to flow.

-- Jerry Knight

© 2005 The Washington Post Company