Perhaps what stiffened buyers' resolve were optimistic comments by Federal Reserve Gov. Ben Bernanke. Speaking to a South Carolina business group, he said the growth rate for the gross domestic product could exceed 4% this year.
The hard-hit Nasdaq made up only a fraction of its 2.5% loss Wednesday, rising 5.42 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,019.56 Thursday. Our InformationWeek 100 index rose 3.52 points, or 1.1%, to close at 325.07. The Dow rose 24.81 points, or 0.2%, to close at 10,495.55, while the S&P 500 rose 2.07 points, or 0.2%, to finish the day at 1,128.59.
The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock closed at $36.51, up 18 cents, or 0.5%, on fairly heavy trading volume of more than 95 million shares. PeopleSoft stock rose 29 cents, to $22.99, a day after Oracle raised its unsolicited bid for the application vendor to $26 per share. But IBM shares fell 1.3%, to $98.86, while Level 3 Communications fell 62 cents, to $4.99, when it warned of possible shortfalls this year.