Around the World's Markets: NEW YORK

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STOCKS ended higher, with a blue-chip pause balanced by another technology surge as the interest-rate cut earlier in the week improved economic prospects. The Dow closed up 14.94 points at 9,056.05, although volume on the New York exchange was modest at 674 million shares.

With investors focusing on the technology sector, the Nasdaq closed up 22.22 points at 1,919.66. The index is just 5 per cent below its 20 July record of 2,014.25: the Dow is 3 per cent shy of its 17 July peak close of 9,337.97.