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 June 13, 2003
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Dow tops nine-K...Retail sales data due...Jobless claims seen down
Thursday,June5,2003,1:15 AM
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New York-AP -- The Dow Jones industrial average is sitting above nine-thousand for the first time in nearly ten months.

The blue chip index broke through the milestone yesterday (Wednesday), soaring more than 100 points following a pair of positive economic reports.

Investors went on their buying spree after an upbeat report on the services sector of the economy and better news on first-quarter worker productivity than an earlier estimate.

In its fourth straight advance, the Dow closed up 116 points, or one-point-three percent, to nine-thousand-38. In the past four sessions, the Dow has gained 328 points.

The market's broader indicators also climbed. The Nasdaq composite, already trading at levels not seen in more than a year, rose 31 points or nearly two percent, to 16-hundred-34.

The Standard and Poor's 500 index advanced 15 points, or one and a-half percent, to 986.

(New York-Dow Jones/AP) -- An end to the war in Iraq and a big stock-market rally may not have been enough to give a boost to the stubborn pace of retail sales in May.

The nation's largest retailers are expected to reveal today (Thursday) what kind of a month it was.

Michael Niemira, an economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York tell Dow Jones Newswires that consumers are still worried about their jobs or lack thereof.

He says while retail sales were relatively strong on the Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekends, results will likely show that sales at stores open at least a year grew a mere one and a-half percent in May. That would compare with three and a-half percent in May a year-ago.

Wal-Mart reiterated last week that it expects May sales at stores open at least a year -- or same-store sales -- to grow a modest one-to-three percent.

(Washington-Dow Jones/AP) -- Economists look for a minimal decline in the number of first-time jobless claims filed last week.

The median estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and business news channel C-N-B-C is for claims to decline by one-thousand, to 423-thousand.

The Labor Department is due to release the jobless claims report at 8:30 a-m Eastern time.

Assuming the forecast is correct and that there are no revisions, the four-week moving average would move up to 431-thousand-250 from 427-thousand in the prior week.

(Washington-AP) -- The dollar value of orders for manufactured goods is expected to have fallen in April.

The market consensus forecast is for factory orders to have dropped one-point-eight percent. That would follow a two-point-two percent jump in March.

Analysts say the report is a better gage of the manufacturing sector than durable goods orders, since it includes non-durable goods as well.

The Commerce Department will post April factory orders data at 10 a-m Eastern time.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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