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Stocks mixed despite good news

U.S. stocks shed early gains in spite of strong performance in Asian markets and renewed hopes for an interest rate cut.

U.S. stocks closed mixed today despite strong performance in Asian markets and renewed hopes of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 131.56 points at one point in early trading, but closed the day up only 80.07 or one percent at 8,108.84. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose as much as 26.22 points but a late sell-off pushed the index down 4.38 points to close at 1,739.21.

The blue chip index rose 133.11 points during the past week, while the Nasdaq was up 79.82 for the same time period.

Most analysts agree that investors are anxiously anticipating word of what size interest rate cut will be made by the Federal Reserve, rather than whether there will be a rate cut at all. The Federal Open Market Committee, chaired by Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, meets tomorrow to discuss the matter.

The hopes for a rate cut are offsetting last week's news about the bailout of Long-Term Capital Management.

Wall Street moved higher today despite more chilling news from overseas this weekend. Japan Leasing, an affiliate of Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, announced that it had filed for bankruptcy, marking Japan's biggest bankruptcy to date.

Tokyo's Nikkei index still managed to gain more than 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng pushed up more than 3 percent.

Analysts noted that investors also are nervously watching to see how the ushering in of Germany's new government after 16-years of rule by Chancellor Helmut Kohl would effect markets. Gerhard Schröder, a Social Democrat, defeated Kohl in Sunday's elections to become chancellor. Germany's DAX closed 2.02 percent higher.