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April 4, 2006    

Wall Street rallies on earnings hopes

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by Elaine Frei

The New York equities markets saw advances on Tuesday, fueled by inflation that appears to be under control, by optimism based on first quarter earnings reports, and by falling crude oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 0.5 percent to 11,203.85, while the Nadsaq Composite gained 0.4 percent to 2,345.36 and the S&P 500 added 0.6 percent to 1,305.93.

Banks were up on the day. Bank of America advanced by 1.4 percent to $46.29. Wells Fargo gained 0.8 percent to $64.87. JPMorgan added 1.6 percent to $42.27.

The Dow was helped out by 3M, which makes Scotch tape and post-it notes. 3M was up over 1.5 percent to $77, gaining after it said it might sell its pharmaceuticals business. Machinery manufacturer Caterpillar also helped the Dow, gaining 2.5 percent to $75.30 after it was reported that it could receive orders worth up to $5 billion from Canadian oil and mining companies.

Internet company Google added 3.8 percent to $404.34, going above the $400 level for the first time since February.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, Merck was up 0.2 percent to $35.48 when it revised its quarterly guidance up.

The telecommunications sector saw declines, however, after equipment makers were downgraded as a sector from “positive” to “neutral”. JDS Uniphase, lost 4.2 percent to $3.91, while Ciena dropped 5.9 percent to $4.91.

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