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Dow Hits 10,000
Again; Close Misses

By Jennifer Shaw  Reuters
NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average again hit the 10,000 mark Thursday but the world's most closely-watched stock gauge fell short of closing above the milestone by a few points.

Minutes before the New York Stock Exchange close, the Dow Jones crossed the magic 10,000 line for the second time in history, edging up to 10,001.51 before closing at 9,997.62, up 118.21 points. It still set a record high.

It was the second time in a week the index climbed to 10,000 but retreated. Tuesday, it rose to 10,001.78 before skidding on profit-taking and ending lower.

"Close but no cigar," said James Volk, co-director of institutional trading at DA Davidson.

"But whether it's up 50, 60 or 80 points everybody knows that with the valuations so high the market is putting on a real good showing, but we are going to have some mid-course corrections," he said.

The Standard & Poor's composite index of 500 stocks also set a new high, rising 18.73 points to 1,316.55.

In the broader market, advancing issues led declines 1,559 to 1,353 on active volume of 827 million shares on the NYSE.

The technology-laced NASDAQ composite index was up 33.99 points, or 1.4 percent, at 2,462.96.

The economic news remained positive as U.S. consumer prices showed a small gain in February, bringing the 12-month increase in the Consumer Price Index to a modest 1.6 percent.

"Inflation news was good. The act doesn't change," said Peter Cardillo, director of research at Westfalia Investments.

In the bond market, the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was up 42/32, lowering the yield, which moves inversely to the price, to 5.49 percent from 5.51 percent Wednesday.

"The inflation numbers were tame, helping financial stocks because any time interest rates go down, they can take advantage of lower borrowing costs," said A.C. Moore, chief investment strategist at Dunvegan Associates.

Among the active stocks, American Express Co. was up 6 3/4 at 127 5/8 after J.P. Morgan set a 12-month price target of $150 for the company's stock.

Chase Manhattan Corp. rose 1 9/16 to 83 7/8 on reports that it is looking for a merger partner.

The prospects of further consolidation in the financial services sector boosted the stock of Citigroup, which rose 1 3/4 to 64 1/2 and Merrill Lynch, up 3 12/16 at 92 3/16.

America Online Inc. rose 7 5/16 to 116 1/8. The Internet services provider now comprises a larger chunk of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index following its $10 billion acquisition of Netscape Communications Corp.

CMGI Inc., the Internet venture capital firm, soared 9 7/16 to 184 13/16 after announcing a 2-for-1 stock split on its common shares.

Egghead.com Inc. rose 4 15/16 to 21 7/8. The brokerage house Piper Jaffray set a price target of $28 for the computer retailer.

FDX, parent of the world's largest air express package carrier, Federal Express, jumped 5 to 97 15/16 after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings. It also announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Boston Scientific Corp. was up 5 5/16 at 38 13/16 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company's mapping catheter used to diagnose abnormal heart beats.

The American Stock Exchange index was off 0.97 at 714.86. The NYSE Composite index of all listed common stocks rose 6.96 to 617.61, a new high. The average share was up 51 cents.

The Wilshire Associates Equity Index — the market value of NYSE, American and NASDAQ issues — was at a new high 11,932.090, up 139.446 or 1.18 percent.

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