Originally created 09/24/05

Markets rebound after Rita weakens



NEW YORK - Wall Street rallied to finish mostly higher Friday, capping off the week with two days of gains as Hurricane Rita lost strength and raised hopes that its impact on key Gulf Coast refineries wouldn't be as bad as initially feared.

Trading volume remained light while traders kept an eye on the storm, projected to strike the Texas-Louisiana border early this morning. Despite a drop in energy prices, the Dow Jones industrial average posted a small loss Friday.

The market also mulled a profit warning from Alcoa Inc. and a pair of discouraging earnings reports from technology firms Oracle Corp. and Palm Inc., an early glimpse of the upcoming third-quarter earnings season.

At the close of trading, the Dow dropped 2.46, or 0.02 percent, to 10,419.59, after sliding as much as 49.75 in early activity.

The broader stock indicators moved higher.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.67, or 0.06 percent, to 1,215.29 on Friday, and the Nasdaq gained 6.06, or 0.29 percent, to 2,116.84.

Bonds finished lower, and the U.S. dollar was mixed.