Nasdaq, Dow, S & P all reach records Investors called optimistic that interest rates will keep falling, profits rising


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose to records for a sixth day yesterday, driving the Dow Jones industrial average past 5,600 just two days after it surpassed 5,500.

Economically sensitive issues rallied on optimism that falling interest rates will fatten profits this year. Gains in Caterpillar Inc., DuPont Co. and Texaco Inc. sent the 30-stock average up 58.53, to 5,600.15, its 13th high this year.

More than two-thirds of the companies that make up the Dow industrials have businesses tied to swings in the economy. Among them, Caterpillar jumped $3, to $67.625, and DuPont surged $2.625 to an all-time high of $80.75.

Six series of computer-guided "buy" orders added some 43 points to the Dow, according to Birinyi Associates Inc.

Confident that the economy can chug along enough to sustain earnings, investors snatched up economic bellwethers that fell at the end of last year. The Morgan Stanley cyclical index of 30 stocks climbed 3.80, or 1 percent, to 369.22. The firm's index of consumer product companies added 0.94, or 0.3 percent, to 306.92.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 5.08 to a record 661.45, boosted by gains in oil, drug and auto shares. Last week, the broad market measure notched its best percentage gain in four years.

The Nasdaq composite index added 0.79 to reach a record of 1,095.38. MCI, Intel Corp. and Oracle Corp. were among the biggest gainers.

The Russell 2,000 index climbed 0.29 to a high of 321.41 and the Wilshire 5,000 index added 35.25 to reach a record 6,425.88. The American Stock Exchange market value index bucked the trend, falling 1.55, to 562.46.

About 1,344 stocks rose and 1,106 fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 397.83 million shares changed hands compared with 476.64 million Friday.

Oil stocks were among the biggest gainers as crude oil prices rose. Mobil Corp. surged $2.25, to $115.625; Texaco Inc. jumped $1.875 to a high of $83.375; and Chevron Corp. climbed $1.375, to $56.125.

British Petroleum Co. American depositary receipts added $2.125, to $103. Analysts expect the oil company to report its most profitable year when it announces 1995 earnings next week. Each of its ADRs represents 12 common shares.

Duracraft Corp. surged $15.609375, to $43.109375, after Honeywell Inc. said it would acquire the maker of home appliances for $283 million, or $43.50 a share. Honeywell added 87.5 cents to reach $53.875.

Many money managers say the market's march to all-time highs is 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.