NEW YORK (AP) -- Blue chip stock prices closed mostly higher yesterday after recovering from a dip caused by an an unexpected rise in producer prices.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks closed at 3,065.30, up 11.19 points. Earlier, the key index was off as much as 15 points.
But overall, declining issues narrowly outnumbered advancing ones by a 5-4 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume totaled 184.5 million shares.
Before the stock market opened, the Labor Department reported its Producer Price Index of finished goods climbed 0.7 percent in October, its worst showing in a year. The unexpectedly large increase caused fears of inflation.
The Federal Reserve Board often raises interest rates, or shuns further rate cuts, in the face of inflationary pressures. Higher rates are considered bad for corporations since they increase the cost of doing business.
In the credit markets, prices of long-term government bonds fell more than $10 for each $1,000 in face value. The weakness helped depress stock prices.
But stocks recovered in the last two hours of trading, boosted in part by computer-driven buying and by the market's bullish sentiment of the past few weeks.
"The down side [earlier yesterday] was never really horrendous," said Thomas R. Walsh, head of equity trading at Nikko Securities Co. International Inc. in New York City. "The market has been in an up mode and continues to be that way."