Blue-chip stocks bounded back toward 11,000 after the latest round of economic reports signaled that the nation's economic growth is continuing at a slower, more sustainable pace.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 120.58 to close at 10,998.39. Broader stock indicators rose more modestly as the technology stocks that dominate the Nasdaq composite index lagged behind the blue chips.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 8.65, to 1397.72, and the Nasdaq composite rose 17.55, to 3353.71.
Even in a session that saw many computer-related stocks remain fairly flat, the growing influence of technology helped lift the Dow. General Electric was the best-performing blue-chip, rising 4-7/16, to 134-9/16, and contributing 22 points to the Dow's advance after a Salomon Smith Barney analyst applauded its growing Internet and electronic-commerce operations.
GE wasn't the only Dow component to advance sharply. As of 5:45 p.m., Procter & Gamble was up 4 1/4 at 112 1/4 and the newly combined Exxon Mobil was up 3-3/16 at 82 1/2.
Stocks received added support from a trio of economic reports that suggested the Federal Reserve's efforts to slow the economy may be working. The Fed has raised interest rates three times this year in an effort to slow the economy enough to keep inflation under control.
The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators held steady in October as signs of weakness in manufacturing emerged. Also, the National Association of Purchasing Management said its index of manufacturing activity dropped from 56.6 in October to 56.2 in November.
Most significantly, the purchasing managers group said the price component of its index increased at a slower rate than in previous months. The index of prices registered 65.3 percent in November, compared with 69.4 percent in October.