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Dow gains 115.30 points

NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a horrific two weeks with a show of strength Friday, as the Dow Jones industrials extended Thursday's late rebound and closed with a gain of more than 100 points.

While the Dow's rise was encouraging, analysts said it was unlikely the blue chips — and the stock market in general — had indeed hit a bottom, or if Friday's advance was a temporary bounce following a string of sharp drops.

"Let's not mistake this for a beginning of a bull market move," said Charles White, portfolio manager at Avatar Associates. "It's a Friday with no economic reports and little news in the marketplace. There's not too much to be made of what's going on today."

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 115.30 to close at 9,504.78, wiping out the remaining damage from Thursday's slide, which saw the Dow fall 380 points before finishing 97 points lower.

The Dow briefly slid to bear market levels on Thursday, reaching a 20 percent drop from the index's high of 11,722.98 on Jan. 14, 2000. But a late rally lured it out of bear territory. Before Friday's gain, the Dow had lost 1,468.77, or 13.5 percent, over the past 10 trading sessions.

Broader market indicators also rose Friday.

The NASDAQ composite index was up 30.98 at 1,928.68, but is still down more than 62 percent from its own high of 5,048.62, reached March 10, 2000.

Wall Street's broadest measure, the Standard & Poor's 500, rose 22.25 to 1,139.83. The S&P 500 has lost more than a quarter of its value since peaking at 1,527.46 a year ago.

Analysts said investors were split over what direction the market will take, which means it likely will be some time before stocks can make a concerted move upward.

"They're not all on the same side of the fence," said Eugene Mintz, a financial market analyst and vice president at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. He noted that some investors still are inclined to sell, while "others are saying, 'these are good companies. I'm going to buy.' "

The Dow, which until last week was resilient to the massive selloffs that devastated the NASDAQ over the past several months, has fallen to bear levels because investors believe the economy is getting much weaker, severely hampering the country's staple industry leaders.

There has been plenty of evidence this week that blue chip companies have suffered from the slowing economy. Procter & Gamble announced Thursday it was slashing 9,600 jobs to restore long-term growth. General Motors, which idled two assembly plants this week, said Wednesday it will temporarily halt operations at more plants as it whittles inventories.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners nearly 2-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock Market.