Technology issues lent some strength to Wall Street, driving most stocks higher and helping the Dow Jones industrial average to its first advance in a week.
The Dow rose 108.60, to 10,937.88, after having lost 496.76 over the previous four sessions. The index had not closed with a gain since last Wednesday, when it rose 42.74 points to an all-time high of 11,326.04.
Broader indicators also gained today. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 10.66, to 1331.07, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 11.45, to 2750.80.
Intel was among the high-tech issues to revive a market that has sagged under interest-rate concerns. The chipmaker, up 1 1/4 at 83-7/16, led the Nasdaq and was among the strongest components of the S&P 500 as it unveiled a new microprocessor intended for use in devices that route information across the Internet.
Analysts said the development raised expectations that the Internet boom will feed continued growth at computer companies.
In a similar vein, IBM was one of the strongest Dow stocks, rising 2-7/16, to 127. IBM and Cisco said Tuesday that they will jointly provide networking equipment and services to companies looking to do business online.
But analysts remained somewhat skeptical about how strong the market really is, with summer vacations and continued worries about higher interest rates combining to keep many investors on the sidelines.
"There's some underlying anxiety," said David G. Sowerby, a vice president at Loomis Sayles & Co., noting that investors are once again fearful that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for a third time this year if it determines the economy is growing too quickly.
The Conference Board today provided the latest sign that the economy continues to grow at a brisk pace. The research group's index of leading economic indicators, a key barometer of future economic activity, rose 0.3 percent in July.
But the Conference Board's report was balanced by a Commerce Department report that showed that home building and other construction spending were surprisingly weak in July.
Stocks rose sharply last week after the Fed's most recent rate increase as investors temporarily grew more optimistic that the central bank might leave rates untouched for the rest of the year. But as fear returned to Wall Street, prices turned lower.
"The Fed has created some discomfort in the near term," Sowerby said. "But if they stay committed to low inflation, they are setting the stage for a strong market down the line."
Still, most analysts remain wary heading into September, an often treacherous month for stocks.
"The market has likely set the table for a rocky month," said Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at George K. Baum & Co., citing a lack of market leadership and the worries about higher interest rates.
The market's pockets of strength today included brokerage stocks, which rose after Salomon Smith Barney raised its rating on several of its competitors. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter rose 3-11/16, to 89 1/2, and Lehman Brothers rose 1 5/8, to 55 3/8.
International Paper rose 1-9/16, to 48-5/8, helping the Dow after PaineWebber raised its rating on the stock.
Promus Hotel Corp. rose 2-15/16, to 32, amid reports that Hilton Hotels is negotiating a deal to acquire it.