Stocks halt slide amid more signs of growth Interest rates steady

Dow index gains 41

June 05, 1996|By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks snapped a two-day slide yesterday amid signs the economy is growing enough to keep profits robust. Retail shares led the advance.

The 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.00 points to 5,665.71. Retailers Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Woolworth Corp. were among the top gainers.

Among broader measures, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.88 to 672.56 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 4.95 to 1,243.68.

The Russell 2,000 index closed up 2.72 at 362.66; the Wilshire 5,000 index rose 39.48 to 6,703.25; the S&P Midcap index added 2.27 to 241.98; and the American Stock Exchange market value index lost 1.27 to 607.44.

Advancing stocks outnumbered those that declined at the New York Stock Exchange 1,448 to 909.

Stocks gained as interest rates steadied, as companies can finance their businesses more easily and cheaply when rates are stable. The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond yield was little changed, settling down 1 basis point at 7.00 percent after falling to 6.97 percent.

Ford Motor Co. said U.S. vehicle sales rose just 1.3 percent in May, as sales of its Lincoln division and Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar models lagged. Ford closed up 25 cents at $36.625.

Earlier in the day, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi/Schroder Wert-heim said retail sales for last week fell 2.2 percent from the prior week.

Sears rose $1.25 to $51.50 and Woolworth rose $1 to $21.875.

Allstate Corp. rose for a fourth day, up $2.75 to $45.875, after the company said it plans to reorganize its Florida business to cut potential losses from any single catastrophe to $1 billion.

First Colony Corp., a life insurer, gained $4 to $31 after saying it would consider selling itself to raise shareholder value. Among other insurers that rose, General Re Corp. gained $2.25 to $150 and Chubb Corp. rose 75 cents to $47.75.

BankAmerica Corp. rose $1.50 to $76.50 after it said the bank plans to streamline its Texas consumer bank, shutting some of its 200 branches.

Eastman Kodak Co. rose 87.5 cents to $74.50 after introducing a digital camera for under $350, less than half the price of its next-least-expensive model.

General Motors Corp. stock rose 25 cents to $56.375, even after an Alabama jury on Monday ordered the company to pay $150 million to a man injured when he lost control of his Chevrolet Blazer, the largest product-liability award ever against an automaker, according to GM.

While investors have added almost $100 billion to stock mutual funds this year, the flow ebbed last week. AMG Data Services Inc. said Friday that investors added $2.6 billion to the funds, down from $3.4 billion the week before.

Southern Pacific Rail Corp. and Union Pacific Corp. fell after the Justice, Transportation and Agriculture departments recommended scuttling Union Pacific's $3.9 billion buyout of the railroad. Southern Pacific fell 87.5 cents to $23.625, and Union Pacific was unchanged at $71.

Arrow International Inc. shares tumbled $11.25 to $28.50 after the medical supply company said third-quarter sales totaled $57.5 million, below estimates.

CompuServe Corp., an online service provider, gained $1 to $26.75 as the company said it would use Microsoft Corp.'s operating software to converts its service to the Internet's global communications network. Microsoft fell 50 cents to $117.875.

Shares of Medaphis Corp. rose $2.75 to $42.75 after Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette reiterated its "buy" rating on the hospital bill management company.

Imatron Inc. shares jumped a second day after the company said a published study showed that its scanning device can predict heart attacks in healthy people better than cholesterol blood tests. The stock, which has gained 250 percent so far this year, rose $2 to $7 yesterday in trading of 38.2 million shares, making it the most active stock in U.S. markets.

Pub Date: 6/05/96

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