The stock market crawled near its still-weak pre-Sept. 11 total, but the unease continued. Another batch of depressing earnings results combined with reports of increased unemployment and lower home sales in September to drag down stocks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported mass layoffs and initial unemployment claims shot up in September, with airlines and hotels the worst affected. But the good news: The University of Michigan consumer confidence index-a bellwether for the market-bounced up in October after suffering its worst monthly decline in 10 years in September.
Investors' bargain hunting and covering of short positions-stocks they borrowed betting on further drops-helped bid up some of the worst underperformers of previous weeks, including agency and media stocks. For the week, 41 AdMarket stocks were up and nine down.