Blue Chips, Oils Pace Market; Dow Up 8.74
Stocks posted mixed results in moderate trading Thursday, with the broader market failing to move ahead with blue-chip and oil issues.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 8.74 to 1,320.79, recovering most of its 9.07-point loss from the previous session.
The Dow Jones transportation and utility averages edged lower, however, and nearly three stocks fell for each two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Big Board volume swelled to 106.10 million shares from 92.12 million on Wednesday
Traders Hunt for Bargains
Brokers attributed the advance in the blue chips to three main factors: the continued takeover-related rally in General Foods, bargain hunting following the market’s broad slide over the two previous days and the sharp upturn in oil stocks.
General Foods, which received an acquisition offer earlier this week from an unidentified suitor, climbed 3 1/2 to 110 after soaring nearly 22 points over the two previous days.
The takeover speculation surrounding General Foods spread to other food concerns. Beatrice climbed 2 to 36 1/8 in heavy trading, Quaker Oats jumped 2 1/2 to 55 1/8 and H. J. Heinz rose 3/8 to 58 1/8--with each reaching 52-week highs.
In the oil sector, Exxon rose 1 to 50, Texaco moved up 1 to 36 and Chevron gained 1 to 36 3/8. All are components of the Dow Jones industrial average.
The upswing in oil stocks followed an announcement by Conoco, a unit of Du Pont, that it is raising the price that it will pay for the major grade of U.S. crude oil and 11 other blends, effective Monday, to reflect the recent rebound in oil prices. Du Pont rose 3/4 to 57 3/8.
The broader market has been drifting lower since Monday, when prices soared following the announcement that the United States and four other countries would try to lower the dollar’s value on world currency markets.
Unilver Sweetened Offer
Elsewhere on the NYSE’s most active list, Richardson-Vicks soared 5 1/2 to 53 1/8 after Unilever sweetened its bid for the company to $60 a share from $56 provided that Richardson-Vicks’ board approves the offer.
International Business Machines slipped to 123 3/4, ITT rose 1 3/4 to 34 1/8, Gould jumped 3 to 30 and Southern California Edison fell to 23 7/8.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 125.66 million shares.
Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 2,061, compared to 1,821 on Wednesday.
The NYSE composite index rose 0.27 to 104.82.
Standard & Poor’s index of 400 industrials gained 1.15 to 202.68, and S&P;'s 500-stock composite index was up 0.63 at 181.29.
The Wilshire index of 5,000 equities closed at 1,865.938, up 2.541.
At the American Stock Exchange, the market-value index fell 0.46 to 221.89.
Index Closes Down
The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market closed at 280.20, down 1.62.
In the credit markets, short-term interest rates rose while long-term rates fell amid speculation about whether the Federal Reserve Board was relaxing its monetary policy.
Some economists said they expect the Federal Reserve to encourage lower interest rates to help bring down the value of the dollar as part of last Sunday’s agreement.
But other analysts said the Fed cannot afford to relax its monetary policy while the money supply is growing so rapidly. Rapid money growth, they argue, will eventually lead to a resurgence of inflation.
Late Thursday, the Federal Reserve reported that the nation’s basic money supply dipped $3.3 billion in the week ended Sept. 16, ending an explosive eight-week surge.
Analysts said that the decline in the measure, known as M1, was bigger than had been expected but that M1 had grown so much in the previous two months that it remains far above the target that the Fed set in its attempt to stimulate non-inflationary economic growth.
In the previous eight weeks, M1 had shot up by $21.9 billion.
Auction Yield Drops
Meanwhile, the Treasury auctioned $8.3 billion in 52-week bills at an average yield of 7.33%, down from 7.36% at the previous 52-week bill auction.
It was the lowest yield on such an issue since the 7.09% for 52-week bills auctioned July 9.
In secondary trading, yields on three-month Treasury bills rose 6 basis points to 6.92%. Six-month bills were up 8 basis points at 6.94%, while one-year bills were up 6 basis points at 7.33%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.