The stock market withstood an afternoon wave of selling to post a small gain Monday, extending the broad advance of the past three weeks.
Stocks responding to individual earnings reports showed some of the widest swings in a session of brisk activity.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials edged up 1.77 to 1,277.83, a little less than 10 points below its record closing high of 1,287.20 set on Nov. 29, 1983.
Advances outpaced declines by about three to two on the New York Stock Exchange. It was the 16th consecutive session in which gainers held the edge.
American Telephone & Telegraph was actively traded and slipped 3/8 to 21 3/8. The company reported earnings of $1.25 a share for 1984, its first year of operation after the breakup of the Bell System.
Another prominent stock, International Business Machines, climbed 1 3/8 to 134 5/8, trading at record highs.
James River was the biggest percentage loser among NYSE issues, falling 4 to 28 1/8. The paper manufacturer said it expects to report a significant decline in earnings for the fiscal quarter that ended Monday.
E. F. Hutton Group climbed 1 3/8 to 35 7/8; it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 94 cents a share, up from 33 cents in the comparable period a year earlier.
American Broadcasting Cos. dropped 2 5/8 to 65 5/8, following word that NBC's "Today" show had pulled into a first-place ratings tie with ABC's "Good Morning America." NBC's parent, RCA Corp., was unchanged at 38 5/8.
Volume on the Big Board came to 128.41 million shares, up from 122.44 million Friday.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 152.82 million shares.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials was unchanged at 198.55, while S&P;'s 500-stock composite index was up 0.05 at a new high of 177.40.
The NYSE's composite index gained 0.11 to 102.53, also a record.
The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market rose 1.03 to 275.03.
At the American Stock Exchange, the market-value index closed at 222.22, up 1.70.
The Wilshire index of 5,000 equities closed at 1,822.833, up 3.218.
Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 2,374, compared to 2,524 on Friday.
Bond prices fell in quiet trading, reversing early gains, as a key short-term interest rate rose and as traders awaited details on the government's latest borrowing plans.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks and a peg for many other short-term interest rates, rose to 8.699% from 8.475% late Friday.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is scheduled to announce its quarterly borrowing schedule Wednesday. A package of about $18 billion in notes and bonds is expected to be sold at auctions next week.
Following the weekly government auction of short-term securities, yields on three-month Treasury bills in the secondary market ended the day at 7.73%, up 10 basis points from Friday. Six-month bills rose 8 basis points to 8.01% and one-year bills were up 5 basis points at 8.28%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments fell 1/8 point to point, intermediate maturities were off 1/8 point to 3/8 point and long-term issues were down more than 1/8 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros. Inc. Earlier in the day, some long-term governments were up by more than 1/8 point.