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Investors' Interest in Stock Market Remains Low - 2001-08-04

The U.S. jobs data for July, released on Friday, suggested to some that the U.S. economy may be stabilizing. The unemployment rate was unchanged, and manufacturing, which has been in a year-long recession, had fewer lay-offs. Investors on Wall Street are not teeming with confidence yet.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average will start the week at 10,512, after a gain of 1 percent last week. The tech-weighted Nasdaq composite starts off almost 2 percent higher.

Wall Street is normally slow in August, as people take off for summer vacations. But investor interest in the stock market is especially low. Analysts say investors really want to buy. Stock prices have come down and look like a good opportunity. But the shrinking fortunes of corporate America in a sluggish economy apparently have turned the average investor cautious.

July's jobs report showed no change in the unemployment rate, despite the recent high-profile corporate lay-offs. But analysts say many investors need to see stronger signs of an economic turnaround before they move their money off the sidelines.