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Investors Shop for Bargains : Dow Climbs 8.57 in Light Trading

From Times Wire Services

Takeover news and rumors, plus some year-end bargain shopping by traders, enabled the stock market to post a moderate gain in light trading Friday.

The Dow Jones index of 30 industrials rose 8.57 to 2,168.93, finishing the week with a net gain of 18.22 points.

Advancing issues outnumbered declines by about 7 to 4 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks, with 851 up, 488 down and 579 unchanged.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 81.76 million shares, down from 150.51 million Thursday and the lightest total since a 72.09 million-share day on Nov. 25, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

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Nationwide, consolidated volume in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 99.13 million shares.

Wall Streeters had expected a quiet day as many investors opted to get an early start on the long holiday weekend.

Brokers also said money managers at investing institutions had for the most part finished their maneuvering for the year.

However, stocks did attract a few nibbles from buyers as the market opened. Some may have been lured by talk of accumulating stocks before New Year’s to try to benefit from the so-called January effect, described in studies as a tendency for stock prices to rise in the first month of the year.

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Stocks eased during afternoon trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nikkei 225-share index closed down 88.35 points at 29,686.26.

In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100-share index finished 5.3 points higher at 1,774.0 in a shortened trading day ahead of the holiday.

CREDIT

Government bond prices finished unchanged to higher, as the market closed after slow trading about 1 p.m. EST.

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The Treasury’s bellwether 30-year-bond rose about 5/16 point, or $3 for every $1,000 in face value. Its yield, which moves inversely to its price and is an important indicator of interest rate trends, declined to 8.90% from 8.93% late Thursday.

In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term government issues were unchanged to 1/32 point higher, intermediate maturities rose 1/32 point to 5/32 point and 20-year issues advanced 9/32 point, according to figures provided by Telerate Inc., a financial information service.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 8.8125%, unchanged from late Thursday.

CURRENCY

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The dollar ended the week slightly higher against all key currencies except the British pound. Trading throughout the world was described as extremely quiet.

Gold prices rose. Republic National Bank of New York said gold closed at $418.25 an ounce, up 65 cents from late Thursday.

“Trading doesn’t exist anymore,” said one London dealer. “Anyone who takes a position now is either very foolish or very brave.”

Tables start on Page 5.

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