Dow up 14.82 on high-tech optimism Computer companies lead the advance

October 31, 1995|By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks advanced yesterday for a second day, boosted by software developer Novell Inc. and other high-technology companies, including Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp.

Reports last week of unexpectedly strong orders for durable goods and third-quarter economic growth brightened the business outlook for technology companies, analysts said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.82, to 4,756.57, as Aluminum Co. of America, IBM and Exxon Corp. all gained at least a point.

In the broad market, the S&P 500 increased 3.55, to 583.25. Of 90 industry groups in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, computer, software and semiconductor stocks added the most to the index's gain.

More than six stocks gained for every five that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where trading tumbled to 318.8 million shares from 378.8 million on Friday.

Novell's move to sell its WordPerfect software business and buy back as much as 10 percent of its own stock pushed the company's stock up $1.50, to $16.375, even though Novell is widely expected to sell WordPerfect for far less than the $855 million it paid just 16 months ago.

Dozens of other technology stocks rallied. IBM rose $1.75, to $98.25; Microsoft climbed $2.75, to $102.75; Intel rose $1.875, to $69.75; and Hewlett-Packard Co. surged $3.625, to a record $96.

Minnesota Educational Computing Corp. vaulted $10, to $31.25. SoftKey International Inc., down $6, at 32.125, agreed to buy the maker of educational software for $370 million at the same time as it made a tender offer for Learning Co., up $4.875, to $60.375.

Fore Systems Inc. climbed $5.25, to $55.75, after analysts at Needham & Co. and Robertson Stephens & Co. raised opinions on the maker of computer-network equipment.

Cyclical stocks -- including Parker-Hannifin Corp. and Honeywell Inc. -- outpaced so-called "consumer" stocks, such as PepsiCo Inc. and Gillette Co. for a second straight day.

Among natural-resource and transportation companies -- all considered "cyclical" stocks -- Alcoa jumped $2.375, to $51.625; Tenneco Inc. climbed $1.125, to $43.625; and CSX Corp. grew $1, to $82.75. Machinery maker Case Corp. climbed $1.25, to $37.625, and Deere & Co. advanced $1.125, to $91.25.

Consumer stocks that saw their prices drop included Philip Morris Cos., down $1, to $83.375, and Kimberly-Clark Corp., which slipped 50 cents, to $72.375.

Financial stocks also deteriorated. Banc One fell $1, to $34; Boatmen's dropped 37.5 cents, to $37.75; Norwest eased 12.5 cents, to $30; NationsBank Corp. slid $1.50, to $66; Wachovia Corp. tumbled $1.875, to $44.75; and First Fidelity Bancorp declined 75 cents, to $66.25.

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