NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock prices pushed ahead slowly today, struggling to break out of the indecisive pattern of the past several weeks.
Trading was quiet on the eve of a long holiday weekend.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 16.55 points to 2,916.55 by 1 p.m. on Wall Street.
Gainers outnumbered losers by about 8 to 5 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed issues, with 835 up, 523 down and 512 unchanged.
Activity was expected to keep tapering off through the afternoon as investors departed for the Memorial Day weekend. The markets will be closed on Monday.
Analysts said bullish investors were getting encouragement from a few tentative signs that the recession might be at or close to a bottom.
Yesterday the government reported the first monthly increase BTC this year in new factory orders for durable goods. But many observers still describe the outlook for corporate profits as tenuous at best.
In addition, the market has had to contend lately with a great deal of uncertainty about prospects for interest rates.
General Motors rose 3/4 to 39 3/8 in active trading. Robert Stempel, the company's chairman, said he was expecting a gradual economic recovery in the months ahead.
Other gainers among the blue chips included Philip Morris, up 1/2 at 68; DuPont, up 1/4 at 43 1/4 ; International Business Machines, up 3/8 at 105, and American Telephone & Telegraph, up 3/8 at 35 3/4 .
The NYSE's composite index of all its listed common stocks rose 1.05 to 206.50.