Dow Advances 3.80 in Slowest Session of Year : Market Overview

Highlights of Monday's market activity, compiled from Times staff and wire reports:

* Wall Street stocks ended mixed in the year's slowest trading session Monday, with blue chips rising modestly while the broader market slipped. The Dow Jones average closed up 3.80 points at 3,235.24.

* The dollar rose against all major foreign currencies except the Japanese yen, which was supported by the upcoming release of new government spending plans.


Analysts attributed the Dow's slight rebound to a technical bounce after Friday's 36-point slide. Gains by two Dow component stocks--Walt Disney Co. and Merck & Co.--also lifted the blue chip index.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by about 9 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange, as the broader market stayed weak.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board totaled 134.17 million shares, down from Friday's 166.14 million.

Traders said the low volume reflected a dull day.

"Today is more a matter of a technical rebound than anything fundamentally driven," said Joseph Barthel, director of investment strategy at Fahnestock & Co. "You had a fairly sharp sell-off Friday with no international follow-through." Many investors also stayed out of the market in advance of consumer confidence and Chicago purchasing data for March, both due today.

Among the market highlights:

* Disney closed up 2 7/8 at 150 5/8; Merck ended at 147, up 1 1/8.

* Intelligent Electronics slid 7 to 13 1/2 after the company guided first-quarter estimates downward, prompting Merrill Lynch to drop its investment rating and estimates.

* Fuqua edged up 1/4 to 14 1/8 after an order imbalance following a television report that said the company is considering the liquidation of certain businesses. Fuqua denied the report.

* AT&T; added 5/8 to 41. First Boston analyst Frank Governali upgraded his recommendation on the company to a strong buy from a buy, traders said.

* Advanced Micro Devices eased 1/8 to 17 3/8. Traders said Kidder Peabody analyst Jonathan Joseph initiated coverage of the company with a hold recommendation.

* Among the oil stocks, Arco was up 1/4 at 99 1/2, Chevron was down 1/2 at 63 5/8, Exxon was down 1/8 at 55, Mobil was down 1/4 at 59 5/8, Occidental Petroleum was down 1/4 at 18 5/8, Pennzoil was down 1/8 at 44 3/8, and Texaco was up 3/8 at 57.

Stocks closed higher in London, with the Financial Times 100-share average closing up five points to 2,452.9.

In Frankfurt, stocks overcame a shaky start as the market welcomed news of job cuts and a change of chairman at car maker Volkswagen. The 30-share DAX average closed 1.14 points down at 1,710.31.


A new report showing a decline in U.S. home sales "knocked the wind out of the dollar a bit," said John McCarthy, chief dealer for Algemene Bank Nederland in New York.

In New York, the dollar was quoted at 132.75 Japanese yen, down from 133.05 late Friday.

The dollar rose to 1.645 German marks, up from Friday's 1.641.

The British pound fell in New York to $1.738, down from Friday's close of $1.743.


Long-term bond prices fell slightly and shorter maturities finished higher on a February home sales report that led economists to draw varying conclusions.

The price of the Treasury's bellwether 30-year bond fell 1/32 point, or 31 cents per $1,000 in face amount. Its yield remained steady at 7.94%, unchanged from late Friday.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 4.125%, up from 3.25% late Friday.


Pork futures prices plunged Monday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after a government report showed a much larger U.S. hog and pig herd than traders expected.

Precious metals ended modestly lower on New York's Commodity Exchange after a day of technically oriented trading. April gold fell 60 cents to $341.90 an ounce and April silver dropped 1.7 cents to $4.125 an ounce.

Market Roundup, D8

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World