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TECH STOCKS: Markets Post Gains Despite Power Outage

The major exchanges scrambled to deal with the worst blackout in history but still managed to wrap up a solid week with small gains.

Mary Hayes Weier

August 15, 2003

1 Min Read

Friday was a slow day on Wall Street, as exchanges scrambled to deal with power-outage issues such as balky phones and absent workers. Despite all the problems triggered by the largest blackout in North American history, each of the major indexes posted slight gains for the day and wound up with healthy gains for the week.

Volume on the Nasdaq exchange, which almost always ends up well over 1 billion, came in at just under 700 million on Friday. The Nasdaq rose 1.66 points, or 0.1%, to 1,702.00, and was up 3.5% for the week. The smaller Nasdaq-100 index rose 24 cents to $31.14, a gain of 0.8% for the day and 3.6% for the week. The Dow Jones industrials rose 11.13 points to 9,321.69, a 0.1% gain for the day and 1.4% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 0.16 points to 990.67, a gain of 0.02% for the day and 1.3% for the week. The InformationWeek 100 rose 0.67, or 0.3%, to 253.31, a 3.0% gain for the week.

Although power had been restored to New York's financial district by 6 a.m., a handful of Wall Street firms weren't able to trade Nasdaq-listed stocks because of problems with the phone lines. Also, the absence of subway and commuter-rail service kept some traders at home.

Meanwhile, the smaller American Stock Exchange apparently suffered from substantial business-continuity issues. It didn't open until 3:45 p.m., after a New York City agency helped it set up a portable generator.

Todd Clark, head of listed equity trading at Wells Fargo Securities in San Francisco, told The Associated Press that aside from the trouble at the Amex, the day was "basically a waste of a clean shirt."

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