* Nasdaq suffers 3-hr trading halt due to technical issues
* Hewlett-Packard weighs on Dow after revenue comments
* Indexes up: Dow 0.44 pct, S&P 0.86 pct, Nasdaq 1.08 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - U.S stocks closed higher on
Thursday in a trading session marred by a historic trading halt
of roughly three hours on the Nasdaq stock exchange as a result
of technical problems.
All traffic through Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, the
second-largest U.S. stock exchange stopped at 12:14 p.m. (1614
GMT), the exchange said on its website. Shares in Nasdaq closed
down 3.4 percent to $30.46.
The exchange resumed trading with a single stock, Atlantic
American Corp, at 3:00 p.m. (1700 GMT) before trading
resumed in all of its listed securities at 3:25 p.m. (1725 GMT).
The lightly traded stock advanced 0.6 percent to $3.82.
The outage was the latest in series of high-profile
incidents on exchanges.
"We have automated securities markets to the point where you
are reliant on computers. This is going to be a recurring
thing," said Stephen Massocca, managing director, Wedbush Equity
Management LLC in San Francisco.
"It is difficult to have automated systems that don't have
issues on occasion."
The outage led to what was easily the lowest full-session
volume of the year, with about 4.23 billion shares traded on the
New York Stock Exchange, NYSE MKT and Nasdaq, well below the
daily average of 6.3 billion.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66.19 points or
0.44 percent, to 14,963.74, the S&P 500 gained 14.16
points or 0.86 percent, to 1,656.96 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 38.918 points or 1.08 percent, to 3,638.707.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 31.38 points, or
0.87 percent, at 3,631.17 when the trading halt began, putting
the brakes on trading in stocks of such well-known companies as
Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.com.
Microsoft ended the session as the biggest boost to both the
S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes, up 2.5 percent to $32.39.
Apple edged up 0.1 percent to $502.96 while Amazon closed 1.8
percent higher at $289.73.
Throughout the Nasdaq outage, other exchanges such as the
New York Stock Exchange continued to operate.
The Dow industrials rose for the first time in seven
sessions after upbeat data from the world's top economies
overshadowed nervousness over the winding down of the Federal
Reserve's stimulus program.
Gains in the Dow were limited by Hewlett-Packard,
which tumbled 12.5 percent to $22.22 a day after reporting a
decline in the Enterprise Group's revenue. The group is the
computer company's second-largest division and a critical
component of Chief Executive Meg Whitman's plan to transform the
The S&P 500 registered its biggest percentage gain since
August 1, but was unable to close above its 50-day moving
average for a fifth straight session. The mark, now at 1,658.87,
has become a technical hurdle.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by
2,551 to 479, while on the Nasdaq, advancers beat decliners
1,964 to 519.