Household goods lead rise in stocks Signs that economy is slowing down boost Procter & Gamble, Clorox


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose yesterday, paced by household goods makers Procter & Gamble Co. and Clorox Co., after falling commodity prices and a series of economic reports supported investors' perception of a slow-growth economy.

Investors turned to shares of consumer goods companies because those typically offer the most dependable earnings in a slowing economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36.15 to 6,029.38, its biggest jump in two weeks.

In the broader market, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.37 to 705.27, and the Nasdaq composite index jumped 15.28 to 1,221.51, boosted by a trade group's forecast for rebounding demand for semiconductors this quarter.

The Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 2.39 to 340.57; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, rose 42.81 to 6,851.33; the American Stock Exchange market value index gained 3.43 to 568.72; and the S&P 400 midcap index jumped 0.81 to 242.24.

Procter & Gamble increased $1.25 to $99; Clorox rose $2.25 to $108.875; and Colgate-Palmolive Co. gained $1.50 to $92.125.

The Morgan Stanley consumer index is up 3.9 percent since July 1. The Morgan Stanley cyclical index is unchanged.

Some 1,485 issues rose while 974 fell in trading of 488 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange. An average of 404 million shares have traded on the exchange each day this year.

Bank and other interest-sensitive shares rallied for a third day, as yields on benchmark 30-year bonds dropped to 6.64 percent, their lowest since April 3, from 6.70 percent Wednesday.

BankAmerica Corp. rose $1 to $91.50; Citicorp gained $1 to $99; and First Chicago NBD Corp. jumped $1.375 to $51.

The Standard & Poor's major regional banks index is up 1.09 percent in three days, almost double the gains posted by any other S&P index.

International Business Machines Corp. rose $1.359375 to $127.265625; Intel Corp. climbed $3.125 to $109.875; and Novellus Systems Inc. gained $2.25 to $41.25. The Philadelphia semiconductor index rose 2.05 to 187.10.

Crude oil fell 93 cents a barrel to $23.35 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 8.5 percent since Oct. 22.

That news sent oil companies into a slump. Texaco Inc. fell $1.375 to $101.625; Chevron Corp. fell 62.5 cents to $65.625; and Mobil Corp. dropped $1.25 to $116.75.

Falling commodity prices hurt other stocks as well. Phelps Dodge Corp., a copper producer, dropped $1.125 to $62.875; Asarco Inc., another copper maker, lost 50 cents to $26.25; and ** Placer Dome Inc., a gold miner, fell 62.5 cents to $24.

Arterial Vascular Engineering Inc. stock rose $2.25 to $15.50 after the maker of arterial stents and balloon angioplasty catheters said its board approved the repurchase of as much as $10 million, or 2 percent, of its common stock.

Bay Meadows Operating Co. shares rose $8.375 to $33.25 after Patriot American Hospitality Inc. said it agreed to buy the real estate investment trust and racetrack company for $33 a share in cash or stock, or about $195 million. Patriot American rose 87.5 cents to $35.125.

Cigna Corp. shares rose $3 to $130.50 after the company reported higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings. Earnings fell to $3.55 a share, excluding gains from investment sales and charges, compared with $3.70 a year earlier. It was expected to earn $3.18.

Coherent Inc. shares rose $6 to $39 after the company said higher sales of its medical and industrial lasers pushed earnings ahead of analysts' estimates. Fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose to 74 cents a share from 56 cents in the year-ago period.

Among the day's decliners, Netscape Communications Corp. fell to $44.25 after the company said it will sell 5 million shares in an additional stock sale.

Pub Date: 11/01/96

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