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U.S. Stocks Stage Rally

Blue-chip stocks rose sharply Friday after a long-awaited international financial aid package was approved for Brazil.

But the technology-laden Nasdaq fell slightly as investors took profits for a third consecutive day amid worries that the Federal Reserve might not lower interest rates again this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 89.95 at 8,919.59.

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Broader stock indexes were also higher.

The International Monetary Fund's $41.5 billion rescue package for Brazil is designed to stop global financial turmoil from spreading. IMF officials hope the plan will assure financial markets that Brazil will have the money to pay its debts while it is putting its fiscal house in order.

Several small Internet stocks zoomed to new highs. Most notable was Inc., which set a new standard for debuts by upstart Internet companies. The company's shares opened at 87, an 866 percent premium to the initial offering price of 9, but lost some ground and closed around 63.

Investors are waiting for the Fed's policy-making meeting Tuesday, when it will decide whether to cut short-term interest rates for a third time since late September. Traders were concerned that if the Fed decides to leave rates unchanged, still-shaky financial markets might suffer.

A strong retail sales report from the Commerce Department Friday intensified the market's worries. The government said retail sales rose 1 percent last month.

Also weighing on investors' minds was the uncertainty in the Middle East, where the United States threatened air strikes against Iraq.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.4 percent. Germany's DAX index and France's CAC-40 were unchanged and Britain's FT-SE 100 rose 0.3 percent.

In Friday's market indicators:

  • The Standard & Poor's 500 increased 7.46 to 1,112.15
  • The Nasdaq composite index fell 3.82 to 1,847.24.

  • Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a narrow margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,498 up, 1,509 down and 494 unchanged.

  • NYSE volme totaled 600.50 million shares as of 4 p.m., down from 689.33 million at the same time Wednesday.

  • The NYSE composite index rose 3.61 to 556.17, and the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 1.48 to 668.36.

  • The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 2.24 to 389.96.

Among the companies in the news:
  • Safeway up 11/16, at 51 3/16. The company's Canadian subsidiary reached a tentative settlement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832, representing 4,000 employees in Manitoba stores. Ratification votes are expected to be held throughout Manitoba on Sunday.
  • PepsiCo Inc., up 1 7/16 at 39 7/16. The beverage stock rose following the company's announcement that it planned to sell a majority stake in its bottling operations in a stock offering next spring. The company had said in July its board was considering a public stock sale of part of its company-owned North American bottling business, which handles about half the sales volume of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Mountian Dew in the United States.
  • Alstom Sa, up 1 11/16 at 2 5/8. The Anglo-French engineering company said it intends to invest only "a few tens of millions of dollars" in the construction of a new railway link in South Korea, not the $300 million which its Korean partner said Alstom would invest. South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. said earlier that Alstom had agreed to invest $300 million in the construction of a railway line linking Seoul to a nearby international airport.
  • Inc., up 54 1/2 to 63 1/2. The online community that helps users create their own World Wide Web site set a new standard Friday for debuts by upstart Internet companies. S2hares of the New York-based company debuted at 87, an 866 percent premium to the initial offering price of $9.
  • Greg Manning Auctions, up 2 17/32 at 13. The frenzy over eBay spilled over to Greg Manning, which two weeks ago acquired Teletrade, a privately held Internet auctioneer, for about $6 million. Manning is an auctioneer of stamps, sports cards and other collectibles. The stock had risen 54 percent on Thursday.
  • Go2Net, up 9 3/4 at 39 1/4. The Internet firm reported declining losses Thursday. The company's metacrawler service compiles results from top search engines.
  • Earthweb, down 2 1/4 at 67. The Internet services provider ,which on Thursday broke a two-month drought for Internet IPOs by jumping out to a 248 percent first-day premium, felt some profit-taking.
  • Infonautics, up 3 1/4 at 5 5/8. Shares rose as word of the company's new Web site, Company Sleuth, has spread on Wall Street. Company Sleuth searches electronic databases to collect corporate information - including details on insider selling, patents, short interest, domain name registrations, stock ratings, news and chat-room gossip - that investors find useful.
  • Dispatch Management Services, down 3 15/32 at 6 3/32, The compny failed to meet Wall Street expectations for its third quarter. The company provides on-demand, dispatch-based delivery services. It attributed the shortfall to problems completing some acquisitions.
  • Cycomm International up 3/16 at 2 5/16. The McLean, Va.- maker of information technology products said it signed an agreement with S&A of Japan to sell mobile computers to Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.

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