Dow Up 7.51; Strong Earnings Propel Rally
Stock prices pushed ahead today, getting a little more mileage out of the rally that has carried the market to its highest levels since the crash of 1987.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 7.51 to 2,386.91, bringing its gain over the past four sessions to 90.91 points.
Advancing issues outpaced declines by a modest margin on the New York Stock Exchange.
Big Board volume totaled 191.51 million shares, compared to 208.65 million in the previous session.
The NYSE’s composite index gained .57 to 171.70.
Analysts said stocks have drawn support in recent days from spreading hopes that inflationary pressures might be easing and that interest rates are turning downward.
Signs of a slowing economy also raise some new worries for investors. For one thing, some observers suggest, they could lead to heightened concern about the possibility of a recession.
Brokers said, however, that any such fears were countered today by strong earnings reports from several prominent companies.
American Telephone & Telegraph stock rose on its report of its 20.6% increase in first-quarter earnings, as did stock in Philip Morris, which also posted a strong first-quarter earnings gain.
Microsoft, among the volume leaders in the over-the-counter market, rose when the company reported that earnings for the fiscal quarter ended March 31 were 73 cents a share, up from 67 cents in the comparable period a year earlier.
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Bond prices were mostly lower in early trading today, as the market took back some of Tuesday’s strong gains amid sharply rising oil prices.
The U.S. Treasury’s benchmark 30-year issue was down about 7/32 point, or about $2 for every $1,000 in face amount before noon in New York. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction from price, rose to 8.95 from 8.93 late Tuesday.
The market opened lower today after a surge in bond prices on Tuesday after two economic reports that provided further evidence that the economy is slowing.
Analysts said the market pulled back slightly this morning, partly on profit-taking and amid surging crude oil prices stemming from an oil and gas explosion in the North Sea.