Market Held to Narrow Range; Dow Ends Off 4
Stocks continued mixed Tuesday in moderate trading as takeover speculation highlighted an otherwise lackluster session.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials fell 4.60 to 1,313.84, erasing its 2.02-point gain Monday. The Dow Jones transportation average also lost ground, but its utility index gained a fraction.
Losers overall slightly led gainers on the New York Stock Exchange, whose composite index fell 0.24 to 109.59.
Big Board volume swelled to 102.06 million shares from 87.94 million Monday, which was the lightest activity since May 24.
Stocks moved within a narrow range throughout the day--limiting their losses but never mounting a serious advance.
Although the market touched new highs last week, analysts said its current lack of direction reflects Wall Street’s uncertainty over the outlook for the economy and its potential effect on stock prices.
Stocks of companies rumored to be takeover targets were notable gainers, including defense companies Grumman, up 3 1/2 to 33 3/4, and Sperry, which rose 1 to a 52-week high of 56. Both are considered potential acquisition candidates after Ford Motor and Boeing lost the recent bidding for Hughes Aircraft to General Motors.
RCA, which also has been the subject of recurring takeover speculation, climbed 7/8 to 45 3/8.
On the downside, North American Philips skidded 6 5/8 to 35 3/4--topping the NYSE’s list of percentage losers--after the company said its second-quarter profit would be “significantly below” year-earlier results.
In the computer sector, International Business Machines fell 1 5/8 to 126 on the eve of a meeting with securities analysts. Digital Equipment lost 2 5/8 to 95 7/8 and Data General dropped 7/8 to 34.
Detroit Edison rose 1/8 to 17 1/2; a 1.24-million-share block traded at that price.
Mesa Offshore Trust was unchanged at 2 after a 1-million-share block crossed at 2 1/8.
Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 1,917, compared to 1,589 on Monday.
Bond prices moved ahead for the second consecutive session as traders looked for new evidence on the strength of the economy.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments rose 6/32 point, intermediate maturities rose by between 1/8 point and 14/32 point and long-term issues were up as much as 3/4 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell 10 basis points to 7.10% in secondary trading. Six-month bills fell 12 basis points to 7.18%, and one-year bills were off 13 basis points at 7.30%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Yields on 30-year Treasury bonds fell to 10.36% from 10.43% late Monday.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, traded at 7.374%, down from 7.5% late Monday.