Dow, Struggling to Halt Slump, Creeps Up 2.66
The stock market edged upward today, struggling to pull out of its weeklong slump.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 2.66 to 2,709.54, reducing its loss for the week to 42.55 points.
Advancing issues outnumbered declines by about 10 to 9 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 734 up, 662 down and 568 unchanged.
Big Board volume totaled 154.09 million shares, against 160.16 million in the previous session.
The NYSE’s composite index gained .17 to 193.95.
Analysts said traders’ spirits got a small lift from declines in open-market interest rates.
They also said, however, that doubts persisted about the chances for any concerted move in the near future by the Federal Reserve to relax its credit policy further.
That view, in turn, has reinforced suspicions among many market participants that stocks might be due for a pullback after their strong advance through the first eight months of the year.
Brokers say the market’s rise to record highs in late August may also have touched off some selling by investors looking to “get out even” after suffering large paper losses in the crash of 1987.
Bonds Edge Up
Bond prices were slightly higher in uneventful early trading today.
The Treasury’s benchmark 30-year bond was up 5/32 point, or $1.56 per $1,000 face amount, around midday. Its yield was unchanged at 8.10% from late Thursday.
Analysts said volume was low and there was little interest in buying or selling in the absence of new economic data or other market-moving news.
“Once again it’s been a real quiet session,” said Elizabeth Reiners, a money market economist with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. “There’s not a lot of volume going through and there’s not any new information.”
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments were up as much as 3/32 point, intermediate maturities gained 1/8 point and long-term issues were up from 7/32 point to 9/32 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 1,178.15, up 1.22.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell to 8.02% as the discount lost 2 basis points to 7.77%. Yields on six-month bills slipped to 8.21% as the discount declined 1 basis point to 7.79%. Yields on one-year bills were unchanged at 7.24% as the discount stayed at 7.67%.
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.