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10/31/2003
06:17 PM
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TECH STOCKS: Slow Finish For Big Week

Technology issues slid slightly on Friday, but the markets ended the week with solid gains.

Blue-chip stocks closed slightly higher Friday, but technology shares didn't follow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 14.51 points, or 0.2%, at 9,801.12, ending the week 2.3% higher after five straight gains that added 219 points. The S&P 500 index rose 3.72 points to close at 1,050.66—its highest level since May 31, 2002, and a gain of 2.1% for the week.

Tech stocks didn't end the week as well, though they posted a winning week. The InformationWeek 100 index fell 0.36 to 302.95, but gained 4.4% for the week. The Nasdaq 100 tracking stock lost 21 cents to close at $35.18, but was up 0.7% for the week, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.48 to close at 1,932.21, though it gained 3.6% for the week.

For October, the Dow rose 5.7%, the S&P rose 5.5%, and the Nasdaq rose 8.1%,

On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy expanded at its fastest rate since 1984 during the third quarter, fueled by consumer spending and business investments in equipment and technology. But before the opening bell on Friday, the government reported that consumers kept a tighter grip on their wallets in September, trimming spending by 0.3%. Analysts had expected a 0.1% drop. Consumer spending had risen 1.1% in August and 1% in July.

Still, Americans' incomes rose 0.3% in September for the third month in a row, slightly better than the 0.2% increase analysts had expected. Other economic reports on Friday showed business activity in the Midwest expanded for a sixth straight month in October, and that U.S. consumer sentiment also rose.

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