Stock Market Hits High First Day of Returns

A rocky stock market has taken its toll on millions of Americans. But when the Dow Jones rose more than 260 points Thursday, Walls Street started singing a different tune. The news was a small dose of candy for analysts who've seen three markets open at a loss.

But they're trying to keep the good news in perspective. Ken Lackner a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch says no one is expecting heroic gains this year, but there is potential for investors who play the game the old fashioned way.

"Diversification and discipline still matter," explains Lackner. "We kind of abandoned diversification and discipline in 1999, and it was a mistake then. It's just as much of a mistake now, to go buy all bonds or all gold or all real estate."

The tremendous push in the Dow Thursday came from the manufacturing sector. Lackner suggests sticking with the Nifty Fifty or top-valued blue chips stocks, which are now selling at premium prices. They also offer better yield and credit than in the past.

While it's still too early to predict how well the market will fare for the rest of the year, Lackner says getting back into the game at a slow and steady pace can pay off.

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.