Talk about some fast dancing. Brazil's stock market skidded nearly 50% in dollars last spring, as Socialist Luis Inacio (Lula) da Silva took a lead over former Finance Minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso in the nation's presidential race. Since then, stocks have rallied 120%--and Cardoso has moved ahead--after the government unveiled a strict inflation and currency-reform plan and inflation fell to an eight-year monthly low of 1.4%. If Cardoso wins the election, scheduled for Oct. 3, he will have to keep the reforms coming to avoid another crash. A likely priority: privatizations.

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