NEW YORK -- Stock prices moved higher Tuesday, showing signs of stability despite a report that consumer confidence plunged following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Conference Board's widely followed consumer confidence index fell to 97.6 this month from 114 in August, the largest monthly drop since the beginning of the Persian Gulf conflict in October 1990, when it fell 23 points.
Consumers were already anxious before the terrorist attacks, and it was expected that their mood would darken after the assault on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The major market indexes initially dipped on the report, the first indicator of the effects on the economy from the attacks. But they moved higher afterward.
The Dow Jones was up 57.08 at 8,660.94, having risen 368 points on Monday in a rebound from last week's 1,369-point plunge.
The Nasdaq composite index was up 20.65 at 1,520.05 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 10.60 at 1,014.05
While the market was steady in the early going, selling was anticipated with extremely nervous investors tempted to capture profits from Monday's rally.
"The market is still on the defensive," said Bob Stovall, market strategist for Prudential Securities.
Analysts expect investors will be wary of making any major moves until it's clear how the government will retaliate for the terrorist attacks. The market is also trying to determine how much and for how long the economy will suffer.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.5 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany's DAX index was up 1.0 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 was up 0.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 was up 1.1 percent.
On the Net:
New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com
Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com
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