• ACI Russia

08/17/1998 18:31:33 Dow up more than 100 points in big cap rally

NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - The Dow industrials gained more than 100 points in afternoon trade Monday as investors took a sanguine view of the White House scandal proceedings in Washington and Russia's effective rouble devaluation. Birinyi Associates said a computer buy program was in effect during the Dow's sprint into triple-digits. At 1412 EDT/1812 GMT, the Dow was up 112 points at 8537. However, market breadth on the New York Stock Exchange remained slightly negative. The rally was confined to the big caps, with the Russell 2000 small cap index flat at 402.74. The gains follow last week's 173 point loss in the Dow. "I think someone came out today and said things that are politically adverse are not always economically adverse," said Harry Laubscher, market analyst at Tucker Anthony. "The market is suggesting that what's going on in Russia and in Washington is not that important. This is also options expiration week, and prices often than not rise into the expiry." President Clinton has begun his testimony via closed-circuit television to a grand jury concerning the scandal over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Russia announced a de facto devaluation of the rouble on Monday in an abrupt reversal of policy. On Friday, double-witching, or expiration of individual and index stock options which can cause volatility. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index was up 16 points, or 1.58 percent, the biggest gainer of the leading stock indices. The Nasdaq was up 19 points at 1809. The long bond was off 1/32 to yield 5.55 percent. ((Huw Jones, Wall St. Desk, 212-859-1737))

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