"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"The Worst Economy Since The Great Depression"

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - U.S. stocks ended higher Friday, with the S&P 500 Index reaching a 4 1/2 year high in a week of gains fueled by a rally in the technology sector, a drop in crude-oil prices and a decline in long-term interest rates.

In Friday's trading action, stocks benefited from a flurry of deals, strong results from Hewlett-Packard as well as an asset sale and raised earnings estimates from General Electric.

"This is just an extension of the rally we've been seeing," said Ken Tower, chief market strategist at CyberTrader. "The S&P is joining the party that the Nasdaq joined yesterday."

"We've had a little lessening concern on inflation and a little drop in interest rates although I'm not sure how long it will last."

Tower said all the merger and acquisition activity also lent support as it shows the confidence that corporate leaders feel and also the confidence of the banks and investors who make those deals happen.

On the broader market for equities, advancers had a 19 to 13 advantage over decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, and led by a 9 to 6 margin on the Nasdaq.

Volume was heavy with 1.8 billion shares traded on the Big Board, while 2 billion shares were exchanged on the Nasdaq.

Gold futures wrapped up the session with a loss, but surged 3.6% on the week, buoyed by continued strength on strong physical demand, central-bank buying and inflation concerns, but returned to negative territory once again by afternoon trading.

Gold for December delivery ended down 70 cents at $468.20 an ounce. On the week, it was up $16.80 an ounce. See Metals Stocks

On the currency markets, the euro staged a brief rally against the dollar after remarks by European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, hinting that eurozone interest rates may have to rise.

Once the impact of Trichet's comments faded, so did the euro's gains. It was last up 0.1% vs. the dollar at $1.1759, after climbing as high as $1.1794. Against the Japanese yen, the greenback firmed, up 0.3% at 119.11. See Currencies

On the bond market, longer-term Treasury prices fell on Trichet's comments.

The benchmark 10-year note ended down 10/32 at 99 30/32. Its yield climbed to 4.5% from 4.45% at Thursday's close. See Bond Report

Oil prices ended at a five-month low, amid easing supply concerns. Crude for December delivery was down 20 cents at $56.14 a barrel in New York trading. On the week, the benchmark contract fell 2.4%.

"The supply picture is robust, and prices should continue to move lower," said John Kilduff, an analyst at Fimat USA. "Rising winter-fuel inventories, as expressed in this past week's reports, trumps the demand worries, at least in the short term."


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