Wall Street advanced solidly Friday to finish the week higher as oil prices cooled and investors embraced signs that the economy could move forward despite Hurricane Katrina's devastation of the Gulf Coast. The major indexes gained for the week.
Falling energy prices lent to a brighter economic picture in Katrina's wake, with crude oil sliding despite worries about record-high energy costs this winter and continued refinery shutdowns and gasoline futures slipping below $2 a gallon. Investors also anticipated a burst of activity once reconstruction begins in the Gulf region.
"The market seems to be concentrating on the future rebuilding of the devastated area, and I think that's what's keeping the market from declining," said Peter Cardillo, chief strategist at S.W. Bach & Co.
Revised forecasts from chipmakers Texas Instruments and Intel late Thursday bolstered the market with indications that consumer spending remains healthy. Texas Instruments raised its quarterly estimates -- fueling hopes for greater electronics demand and calming fears of a spending slowdown -- while rival Intel refined its previous view.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 82.63, or 0.78 percent, to 10,678.56.
Broader stock indicators also gained ground. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 9.81, or 0.8 percent, to 1241.48, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 9.48, or 0.44 percent, to 2175.51.
Light trading volume -- typical of a late-summer session -- persisted on Wall Street, as investors awaited more information about the rising damage toll left by Katrina and searched for any signals that the economic retreat will be less than feared. Nonetheless, falling oil prices led to a strong week for Wall Street. The Dow gained 2.21 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.93 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 1.61 percent for the week.
Stocks also were helped this week by the growing belief among investors that the Federal Reserve will halt its year-long string of interest rate hikes when it meets later this month, in part to contain lending costs for Gulf Coast reconstruction.
Continental Airlines fell 49 cents, to $12.11, after warning of a "significant loss," partly from fuel costs. Northwest Airlines fell 4 cents, to $3.48.
Boeing rose 78 cents, to $65.40, after the Wall Street Journal reported that it is negotiating a settlement with the Justice Department to avoid prosecution in two federal probes.
McDonald's rose 77 cents, to $34.14, after it said global sales at restaurants open at least a year grew 5.7 percent in August.
New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 69.18, to 7663.82.
American Stock Exchange index rose 22.23, to 1718.31.
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 4.58, to 678.05.
NYSE: 1.98 billion shares, up from 1.95 billion on Thursday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 12 to 5.
Nasdaq: 1.64 billion shares, up from 1.61 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 10 to 1.
Crude oil for October delivery: $64.08, down 41 cents.
Gold for current delivery: $449 a troy ounce, up from $446.70 on Thursday.