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IBM pulls stock market out of its morning slump

May. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- News that IBM will buy back more stock and raise its dividend helped pull major stock indexes out of a morning slump Tuesday.

IBM and other tech stocks led the Standard & Poor's 500 index up. The broad-market measure ended April with a 1.8 percent gain, the sixth month in a row the index has climbed higher.

Worries about slower economic growth have rattled the stock market this month, but it has consistently bounced back. Brad Sorensen, director of market research at the brokerage Charles Schwab, said that's a result of investors having few alternatives.

"Right now it seems like every pullback in the market is seen as a buying opportunity," Sorensen said. "People may say they're getting nervous, but where else are you going to put money at this point? Into Europe with their political issues? Into Treasurys paying less than 1.7 percent?"

The S&P 500 edged up 3.96 points to close at 1,597.57. The slight gain of 0.3 percent pushed the index to an all-time high for the second day straight.

The tech giant's 1.7 percent gain tugged the Dow Jones industrial average up. The Dow fell as much as 84 points in morning trading but ended with a gain of 21.05 points at 14,839.80. That's an increase of 0.1 percent.

In other trading, the Nasdaq composite index rose 21.77 points to 3,328.79, up 0.7 percent. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro, and the price of crude oil fell $1 to $93.46 a barrel. Gold edged up $4.70 to $1,472.10 an ounce.

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