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Sectors Mixed as Airlines Bounce Back, Insurers Don't

Several sectors retraced ground either gained or lost in yesterday's wild ride, with most airline shares ending higher despite concern about the timing of an aid package.

The Transportation Secretary said he hoped to have a package to aid the reeling industry through Congress by early next week. Investors, who were worried by talk of bankruptcies on Monday, sold on the news, having hoped for a quicker resolution. But the selling didn't erase all the gains.

AMR (AMR), the parent of American Airlines and TWA, closed up 12.1%, to $20.17. Delta Air Lines (DAL) also gained, up 11.5%, to $23.01. UAL (UAL), the holding company for United Airlines gained 8.6%, to $19.

Northwest (NWAC) rose 4%, to $12.91. Continental (CAL), which has been said to be in worse shape than others in the industry, fell 10.5%, to $17.95.

Insurance companies, which face huge claims from last week's attacks, were unable to post a corresponding rebound. Citigroup (C) fell 0.88%, to $39.25, while American International Group (AIG) slid 1.3%, to $70.05. XL Capital (XL) slipped 4.1%, to $68.70 and ACE (ACE), which cut its third-quarter profit expectations on Monday, dropped 8.8%, to $26. The industry expects $30 billion in claims payments will be dished out, Bloomberg reported.

Some retailers were doing better today, as both Home Depot and Wal-Mart produced gains. Sears, on the other hand, was off 1.2%, to $34.22.

Energy exploration companies fared badly on negative analyst comments. ExxonMobil was off 1.6%, to $39.49, while Chevron fell 2.7%, to $87.78. Kerr McGee lost 6.2%, and Anadarko was down 5.3%, to $48.61.

Among other sectors, chip stocks were off about 6%, Internet stocks fell about 3%, and biotechs slid about 4%. Banks were roughly unchanged.

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