Stock prices rose in lackluster trading Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average rebounding from an eight-day losing streak.
Traders said the market drifted in a fairly narrow range for most of the session, with little except the Treasury's $28.75-billion refunding to give the market direction.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 3.12 to finish at 2,374.45, ending an eight-day string of losses, the longest since August, 1982. The blue chip indicator had lost 47.66 points since April 28.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by about 9 to 8 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks, with 722 up, 641 down and 594 unchanged.
Big Board volume totaled 146 million shares, down from 150.09 million Tuesday.
Nationwide, consolidated volume in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 174.47 million shares.
Among actively traded issues, Avon surged 3 7/8 to 39 7/8 after Amway offered $39 a share for the company. Newmont Mining gained 1 to 40 1/4 on expectations that a buyer would emerge for the company.
The common stock of Hilton Hotels climbed $1.375 to close at $67.25 a share, a new 52-week high, in continued active trading.
In London stocks fell Wednesday on profit taking and pessimism about the outlook for interest rates.
The Financial Times 100-share index was down 8.1, or 0.4%, at 2,117.0. In Tokyo, the Nikkei stock index slipped 38.54, or 0.11%, to close at 33,993.33, adding to Tuesday's 103.37-point loss.
Bond prices continued a downward spiral amid pessimism over the ongoing $28.75-billion Treasury refunding and fears that the economy may be expanding.
The Treasury's benchmark 30-year bond was down 1/8 point, or slightly more than $1 for every $1,000 in face value. Its yield rose to 9.10% from 9.09% late Tuesday. Volume was moderate.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term government issues were down 1/32 to 1/16, intermediate maturities were down 1-32 to 3-32 point and long-term issues were off 3/32 to 3/16 point, according to Telerate Inc., a financial information service.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell to 8.80% as the discount fell 2 basis points to 8.50%. Yields on six-month bills dipped to 9.00% as the discount was unchanged at 8.51%. Yields on one-year bills rose to 9.17% as the discount rose 2 basis points to 8.47%.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted late in the day at 9.75%, up from 9.69% late Tuesday.
The dollar continued a minor retreat, absorbing the gains that took it to nine-month highs at the beginning of the week.
Late in the day in New York, the British pound traded at $1.6740, up from $1.6665 Tuesday, while the dollar fell to 134.41 Japanese yen from 134.53.
Other late dollar rates in New York compared with Tuesday's late rates: 1.9020 West German marks, down from 1.9094; 1.6921 Swiss francs, down from 1.6955; 1.1843 Canadian dollars, down from 1.1870; 6.4220 French francs, down from 6.4455, and 1,385.25 Italian lire, down from 1,391.50.
Prices of frozen pork belly futures soared the permitted daily limit of 2 cents a pound for the second straight day as more speculators hopped aboard the market's rally from its lowest level in nine years.
On other markets, energy futures were widely mixed; precious metals were lower, and grains and soybeans were mixed.
Gold and silver futures retreated on New York's Commodity Exchange, giving up nearly all of Tuesday's gains.
Gold settled $1.10 to $1.70 lower, with June at $379 a troy ounce; silver was 6 cents lower across the board, with July at $5.695 an ounce.
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