Dow climbs to 3,264.98

January 20, 1992|By New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Blue-chip stocks rose modestly Friday, again in busy trading, aided by the expiration of stock and index options and major market index futures.

While smaller stocks showed weakness, the Dow Jones industrial average clicked off yet another record, ending at 3,264.98, up 15.43 points for the day and 65.52 for the week.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was heavy, at 287.4 million shares traded, but down from 336.2 million on Thursday. Gaining issues were ahead of losers by a margin of 922 to 831.

The Standard & Poor's index of 500 stocks rose 0.65 point, to 418.86, while the American Stock Exchange index gained 1.55 points to end at an all-time high of 415.32. Trading in the secondary market pulled the NASDAQ composite down slightly, to 626.85, off 0.49 point, but the Russell 2,000 inched to a high of 205.06, up 0.67 point.

John H. Blair III, senior vice president and head of trading for County NatWest Securities USA, described the market as orderly, as it went through its "double witching hour."

"A large number of expiring indexes were on the buy side yesterday, causing blue chips to rise in late afternoon trading," .. Mr. Blair said. "But a sell-off in the last few minutes moved the market lower at the close."

He liked the market's tone and volume, even though it was not as high as in the last couple of sessions, and noted that there was good rotation in stocks and some cycles, like IBM, which opened lower on a large fourth-quarter loss but recouped to close with a gain of 7/8 at 96 3/8 .

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