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Dow Closes Up 8.40 While Market Posts Spotty Gains

From Associated Press

The stock market posted some spotty gains today in a quiet session.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 8.40 to 2,274.11, stretching its gain for the week to 28.57 points.

Advancing issues outnumbered declines by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 850 up, 578 down and 501 unchanged.

Big Board volume totaled 151.79 million shares, against 161.98 million in the previous session.

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The NYSE’s composite index climbed .69 to 163.90.

The Commerce Department report that the index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% in January was in line with advance estimates on the Street.

The figures elicited no strong response from the bond market, where prices were mixed.

In the absence of any stimulus from that direction, brokers said, money managers at investing institutions continued some selective buying of stocks in the hopes of showing good results when they make their first-quarter reports to clients at the end of this month.

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Otherwise, however, traders seemed reluctant to make any big commitments.

Bond prices were mixed in early trading today as some shorter-term issues rose and longer-term issues slipped in response to the dollar’s weakness in foreign exchange trading.

The Treasury’s benchmark 30-year bond was down 1/8 point, or about $1.25 per $1,000 face amount, at midday, and its yield, which moves in the opposite direction from its price, rose to 9.13% from 9.12% late Thursday.

Bond prices opened sharply lower in response to a decline overnight on the dollar’s value in trading overseas, analysts said.

A declining dollar hurts bond prices by trimming the yields available to foreign investors, who are sizable holders of dollar-denominated debt.

Elliott Platt, fixed-income research director for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, said government reports noting that the Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.6% in January and that orders to factories for manufactured goods dropped 1.3% had little effect on bond prices.

Prices recovered some lost ground later in the morning session after Venezuela said it was suspending payments on its $33-billion foreign debt. Platt said that helped prices of shorter-term Treasury issues, because that is where investors tend to put money in times of financial turbulence.

Secondary Market

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In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments were mixed with some off 1/32 point and others up 1/8 point, intermediate maturities were unchanged to 1/16 point higher and long-term issues were down 1/4 point, according to the Telerate Inc. financial information service.

The movement of a point is equivalent to a change of $10 in the price of a bond with a $1,000 face value.

The Shearson Lehman Hutton daily Treasury bond index, which measures price movements on outstanding Treasury issues with maturities of a year or longer, was unavailable.

In corporate trading, industrials were up. Moody’s investment grade corporate bond index, which measures price movements on 80 corporate bonds with maturities of five years or longer, rose 0.17 to 296.88.

Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell to 8.89% as the discount fell 6 basis points to 8.59%. Yields on six-month bills fell to 9.11% as the discount fell 4 basis points to 8.61%. Yields on one-year bills dropped to 9.32% as the discount fell 2 basis points to 8.62%.

A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. The yield is the annualized return on an investment in a Treasury bill. The discount is the percentage that bills are selling below the face value, which is paid at maturity.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 9 13/16%, unchanged from late Thursday.


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