Updated from 3:33 p.m. EDT

The major averages managed to finish slightly higher on what was a seesaw session for equities.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed up 56.11 points, or 0.7%, to 8659.97. The

Nasdaq

gained 2.15 points, or 0.1%, to 1501.55, and the

S&P 500

rose 8.81 points, or 0.9%, to 1012.26.

Overseas, the FTSE 100 closed up 50 points, or 1.1%, at 4663, while the Paris CAC-40 was up 42 points, or 1.1%, at 3903. In Japan, the Nikkei closed up 139 points, or 1.5%, at 9694, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 74 points, or 0.8%, to 9210.

Wall Street got its first look at post-attack consumer confidence when the Conference Board released its September report this morning. The index showed consumer confidence fell to 97.6 from 114 in August -- the lowest level since January 1996. Economists polled by

Reuters

were expecting a reading of 105.1. What wasn't clear was whether the drop was a direct result of the terrorist attacks or of economic concerns that existed before it happened.

Overnight, Saudi Arabia said it severed diplomatic ties with Afghanistan's ruling Taliban party, which the U.S. suspects of harboring terrorists.

In corporate news,

AOL Time Warner

(AOL)

last night lowered its 2001 revenue and earnings forecast, citing the dropoff in advertising following the Sept. 11 attacks. The stock was ended up 35 cents, or 1.1%, to $32.85. Meanwhile

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the year and said it expects case volume to rise 4% to 5% in the third quarter. Shares of the soft drink giant fell 8 cents to $47.95.

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

reported a 32% drop in third-quarter earnings, citing overall weakness in the equity markets and the decline of mergers and acquisitions. The firm earned $309 million, or $1.14 a share, compared with $457 million, or $1.68 a share, a year ago. Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of $1.08 a share. Lehman rose 87 cents, or 1.7%, to $52.42.

Conseco

(CNC) - Get Report

traded up $1.09, or 17.6%, to $7.28 after Salomon Smith Barney upgraded the insurance firm to outperform from neutral.

Among sectors, biotechs and banks were higher, while chips, cyclicals and Internet stocks lost ground. The 10-year Treasury note was recently up 1/32 at 102 8/32, yielding 4.71%.