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8/31/2004
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Stocks End Month With Small Gains

Late-day buying negated investors' disappointment about consumer-confidence figures.

Stocks got a lift from some late-day buying on another light trading day Tuesday, as investors overcame their disappointment about troubling readings on consumer confidence and manufacturing with some help from the continuing decline in oil prices.

The Conference Board's consumer-confidence index plunged to 98.2 in August from 105.7 in July. That kept stocks lower for much of the day, but with oil prices sliding again, enough buyers came back late in the day to send the markets into September on a positive note.

The Dow Jones industrials rose 51.40 points, or 0.5%, to 10,173.92. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.09 points, or 0.5%, to 1,104.24, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.61 points, or 0.1%, to 1,838.10. For the month, the Dow rose 0.2% and the S&P was up 0.1%, while the Nasdaq fell 2.8%.

The InformationWeek 100 rose 0.23 of a point, or 0.1%, to 279.19, and the Nasdaq-100 tracking stock rose 4 cents to $34.02 on less-than-usual volume of 81.2 million shares.

Tech stocks were hurt by some reduced forecasts in microprocessors. Intel's third-quarter earnings forecast was downgraded by Morgan Stanley, while J.P. Morgan Securities lowered its outlooks for communications chipmakers Xilinx and Altera. Intel fell 31 cents to $21.29, while Xilinx fell 7 cents to $27.43 and Altera fell 16 cents to $18.92.

See the full listing of all the companies in the InformationWeek 100 and the top 5 percentage winners and losers for the last closing here.

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