The dilly-dallying Dow Jones industrial average did another triple-digit move today, gaining 173 points and delivering the first weekly gain this month.
This was the Dow's fifth move of more than 100 points in the last eight days--evidence of an erratic and unpredictable stock market.
The Dow closed at 10,402.77--up 187 points for the week.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index climbed almost 20 points to 1,198.41, ending the week with a gain of 19 points.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index picked up 26 points today, closing at 2,089.88, an 8-point advance for the week.
Today's big gain came after the government reported the economy grew at a healthy rate last quarter--despite the disruption caused by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.
But the economic data may not have been the only thing driving stocks higher. Stocks often make big moves toward the end of the month as traders tidy up their business--especially at the end of October, when some mutual funds close their fiscal year.
The market also benefited, some trend spotters said, from fact that President Bush's top aide, Karl Rove, was not indicted along with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who is facing five felony charges in the CIA leak case.
With the market so unstable and the rationales for its moves so uncertain, traders were reluctant to proclaim today's big advance to be anything more than a one-day wonder.
If the end-of-the-month maneuvering thesis is right, Monday could be another exciting day on Wall Street. But only after the first few trading days of November will it be clear whether the market is moving in a new direction.