Record rise continues for fifth day Weekly percentage gain is S&P's largest in 4 years


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose to records for a fifth straight day yesterday, capping the Standard & Poor's 500 index's biggest weekly percentage gain in four years.

Share prices seesawed as investors debated whether the Federal Reserve's interest rate cuts during the past seven months will be enough to keep profits growing.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.17 to 5,541.62 and posted its best weekly gain in seven months. The 30-stock average is up 8.3 percent this year.

Four computer-guided "sell" orders and three "buy" orders whipsawed stocks, according to Birinyi Associates Inc.

Traders said part of the selling came as an investment firm switched its allocation by buying bonds and selling Standard & Poor's 500 index futures. Prices for stocks in the index move in tandem with the futures.

Boeing Co. was the biggest gainer among the Dow industrials, rising $3.125 to $82.625. Boeing reportedly plans to hire at least 7,000 workers for its commercial jetliner unit by early 1997 to meet a resurgence in plane orders.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 0.31 to 656.38, bTC notching a 3.2 percent gain for the week, its best since Christmas week in 1991. The Nasdaq composite index jumped 1.43 to 1,094.60. Both indexes set records.

The Russell 2,000 index climbed 0.65 to a high of 321.12; the Wilshire 5,000 index added 5.88 to reach a record 6,390.63; and the American Stock Exchange market value index bucked the trend, falling 0.65 to 564.01.

Some 1,219 stocks rose and 1,122 fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 477.6 million shares changed hands, up from 469.7 million yesterday.

Steady-earning makers of household staples like toothpaste fueled the advance amid expectations that it will take a while for the economy to pick up.

Computer networking companies gained amid evidence that their profits are booming from demand for on-line services.

Semiconductor companies continued to lose on concern their profits will suffer from lower chip prices and high inventories.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index fell for a third day, slipping 2.19 to 199.63.

Shares of Chrysler Corp. fell $1 to $55.75 after jumping $2.625 to $59.375. The car company ended its battle with Kirk Kerkorian by agreeing to put one of the investor's allies on the board and step up its stock repurchase program.

Many money managers say the market's march to all-time highs so far this week was partly fueled by money pouring into equity mutual funds. In January, investors put a record $24.5 billion into stock funds, surpassing the old high of $18.4 billion set January 1994, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.