Stocks Ride War Gains to Higher Close

The Nasdaq has climbed 10% in November, while the Dow is up 7%.
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Updated from 3:25 p.m. EST

Investors were back in force Tuesday, undaunted by the gruesome images of a plane crash the previous day and a profit warning from one of the world's biggest software makers.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 196.58 points, or 2.1%, to 9750.95. The

Nasdaq was up 51.96 points, or 2.8%, to 1892.09, and the

S&P 500 added 20.76 points, or 1.9%, to 1139.09.

Since Oct. 31, the Nasdaq has risen more than 10%. The index is up about 30% from the Sept. 21 level of 1423. The Dow has risen about 7% this month and close to 19% since Sept. 21.

Analysts pointed to military progress in Afghanistan and a growing consensus that Monday's plane crash wasn't terrorist-related for the performance of stocks. Federal investigators were downplaying the possibility of terrorism in the crash of an American Airlines jet, which occurred just minutes after the plane took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The disaster, which left more than 200 dead, took place in Rockaway Beach, Queens, and riddled the nerves of an already-grieving city.

Overseas, European stocks turned in a strong performance with London's FTSE 100 up 2.5% to 5277 and Germany's Xetra DAX gaining 2.6% at 4947. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 traded down 0.5% to 10,031. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7% to 10,663.

Retail giants

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

and

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

met quarterly earnings forecasts despite a challenging economic climate. Home Depot rose $2.88, or 7%, to $44, whereas Wal-Mart shed 68 cents, or 1.2%, to $54.90.

Chipmakers continue to perform well, with

Vitesse Semiconductor

(VTSS)

climbing $1.46, or 12.3%, to $13.38.

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

gained $1.39, or 10.6%, to $14.48.

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was one of the few tech stocks under selling pressure, following an announcement by chief executive Larry Ellison that the company wouldn't meet current earnings estimates for the fiscal second quarter. Shares of the software company fell 88 cents, or 5.7%, to $14.52.

Watson Pharmaceuticals

(WPI)

reported third-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, well short of analysts' expectations. The company also lowered its guidance for the fourth quarter and 2002. Shares of the drugmaker took a beating, losing $18.65, or 39.6%, to $28.50.

In Afghanistan, rebel forces are moving into Kabul, forcing Taliban troops to flee the country's capital.

Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year Treasury note was down 20/32 to 104 28/32, yielding 4.38%.