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US Stock Market Finishes Week Higher - 2002-07-26

The U.S. stock market made modest gains Friday at the end of a volatile week on Wall Street.

A wild week for the U.S. stock market ended on an upbeat note. After seven days of fluctuating between record highs and lows, all major indexes closed on the positive side.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up at 8,064, climbing 78 points or nearly 1 percent. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 index surged more than 14 points, a weekly gain of 3.1 percent.

The technology-weighted Nasdaq composite index recovered from Thursday's losses, rising 22 points or 1.78 percent, after falling more than 50 points.

Overall, trading in technology stocks was mixed. But the sector did gain some strength from chip equipment makers after investment bank Goldman Sachs upgraded several companies. Shares of such heavyweights as Intel and Applied Materials rose.

Goldman Sachs analyst Jim Covello expects to see a rebound in the sector. "I think longer term oriented investors are going to start getting more aggressive buying these stocks over the next couple of months and I think that's going to force some of the shorter term oriented investors to be less aggressive in their short stance, thus creating a rally in semi equip stocks," he said. In the blue chip market, shares of troubled global manufacturing conglomerate Tyco International rose. So did shares of media giant AOL Time Warner, whose accounting practices are being investigated.

The modest gains on Friday came on the same day that the University of Michigan released its influential survey, showing that consumer confidence fell less than expected in July.

J.P. Morgan Chase economist Jim Glassman noted that a strong U.S. economy, along with low interest rates, has helped counter the effects of the plummeting stock market.

"There is a lot at stake here right now because the stock market's down and people have taken a big hit," he said. "They are being helped by falling interest rates and the hope is that these declines in interest rates will be cushioning the blow from the stock market so we won't see a major pullback."

Friday's quiet trading session brings to an end a roller-coaster week for the U.S. stock market, during which it recorded some of its busiest days in history. Wall Street analysts are encouraged by the market's late-day gain. On recent Fridays, skittish investors have sold stocks because they were reluctant to hold big positions in the market over the weekend, for fear of a Monday plunge.