NEW YORK — The sparkle should be back in 2004.

SARS, a worldwide travel slump and conflicts in the Middle East and other regions have made this year particularly challenging for the $43 billion fine jewelry and watch sector, but many executives are heading into the holiday season looking for an uptick. They feel the economy is showing signs of a rebound and consumers seem to be ready to buy luxury again. This should translate into a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter and trigger a trend that is likely to carry through 2004, executives said.

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