NEW YORK – Technology shares rose and the broad market overcame an early plunge Monday as Wall Street managed to shake off jarring news of another passenger-jet crash in New York.
Major market gauges took a dive early in the session after the crash of an American Airlines jet carrying 255 people in New York, but increasing belief that the event was not terrorism-related, along with some bargain-hunting, pulled indexes off their lows. Ciena Corp.'s ray of hope in the depressed telecommunications sector also helped.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 53.63 points, or 0.56 percent, a 9,554.37, according to the latest data, after slumping 200 points initially.
The Nasdaq composite index crawled back into positive territory, gaining up 11.65 points to end the day at 1,840.13 after suffering a 2.5 percent loss earlier, while the Standard & Poor's 500 lost 1.98 points at 1118.33.
The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller company stocks, rose 1.07, or 0.2 percent, to 439.17.
"The market does show remarkable resilience ... it bounced back nicely indicating bargain-hunters are still ready to buy on unexpected opportunity caused by unexpected weakness," said Alan Ackerman, chief market strategist at Fahnestock & Co. "Nonetheless an event of this kind does raise anxiety levels which has put pressure on the market."
Before the crash, traders had been forecasting a higher opening, buoyed by a solid forecast from communications gear maker Ciena Corp. But stocks skidded after a wide-body Airbus A-300 twin engine passenger jet crashed five miles from the airport in a residential area of Rockaway, in the Queens borough of New York City.
The cause of the plane crash was still unclear.
Hotel and airline stocks tumbled on fears the crash will take another bite out of the travel industry. The Standard & Poor's airline index sank 4.6 percent. AMR Corp. , parent of American Airlines, fell 9 percent, or $1.64, to $16.49.
UAL Corp. , the parent of United Airlines, dropped 59 cents to $10.33. Continental Airlines sank $1.60 to $16. Delta Air Lines Inc. surrendered $2.72 to $23.27.
The S&P hotel index dropped 1.52 percent. Marriott International slumped $1.50 to $32.50. Among other travel-related stocks, cruise ship giant Royal Caribbean International tumbled 92 cents to $11.91, while among online travel firms, Priceline.com Inc. lost 22 cents to $4.28.
"It furthers the uncertainty, especially in relation to travel," said Eric Gustafson, a portfolio manager at Stein, Roe & Farnham. "Travel and commerce are critical to the health of the U.S. economy. Sentiment had been shifting to a more positive tone before this event. This could potentially act as a setback."
Boeing Co. Chief Executive Officer Phil Condit said it will take more than two years for commercial airline traffic to recover from the Sept. 11 attacks, noting that during this time, the aerospace company will lose production of more than 1,000 planes. Boeing, a Dow stock, lost 18 cents to $33.06.
Among Dow stocks, United Technology Corp., which makes aircraft engines, lost $1.76 to $55.30, and Honeywell International shed $1.21 to $30.52 -- the two accounting for about 44 percent of the Dow's loss.
On the positive side, optical networking company Ciena said its earnings could exceed analysts' consensus, adding it would slash its workforce by 10 percent and take a $1.7 billion charge. Its stock rose $1.65 to $18.83.
Other networking or telecommunications equipment stocks also rallied. Juniper Networks Inc. added 55 cents to $23.99, while Extreme Networks Inc. gained $1.04 to $15.15. Industry leader Nortel Networks added 17 cents to $6.91, or 2.5 percent, while JDS Uniphase , the fiber-optic component maker, advanced 46 cents to $9.63.
The price of gold shot up more than $3.50 an ounce at one point to a one-month high of $281.40 as investors fled to safe havens. Officials shut down New York area airports and some commuter train service for a few hours. Also sealed off were bridges and tunnels into the city.
The S&P index of gold and precious metal stocks jumped 1.26 percent during the session, but finished flat as investors locked in profits in stocks such as Newmont Mining Corp., which rose to $24.24 but finished at $23.30, up 1 cent.
Security device makers and security services companies headed higher. InVision Technologies Inc., which makes sophisticated scanners used in airports to detect explosives, surged $1.048 to $13.348, or 8.52 percent. When the stock market opened on Sept. 17 after a four-day shutdown, InVision rose 165 percent, to $8.25.
Enron Corp., the most active on the NYSE, rose 61 cents to $9.24 after the once-mighty company agreed to be bought out by its smaller power-trading rival Dynegy Inc. for the fire-sale price of some $9 billion in stock. Dynegy racked up a gain of $5.55 to $44.31, or 14.3 percent.
Declining issues narrowly outnumbered advancers 16 to 15 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 977.27 million shares, below the 1.10 billion shares traded Friday. The U.S. Treasuries market was closed Monday for Veterans Day.
Losses widened in Europe following the crash in New York. France's CAC-40 finished the day down 3.1 percent, and Britain's FT-SE 100 fell 1.9 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany's DAX index was down 3.1 percent.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.