Stocks mixed Dow 30 up 14 points

But financial issues weaken amid worry about interest rates

December 06, 1996|By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday after the worst two-day decline since August, largely withstanding the shock of higher Treasury bond yields.

Philip Morris Cos., oil stocks such as Texaco Inc., and metal producers such as Aluminum Co. of America surged, even as financial stocks tumbled amid concern that interest rates may be poised to move higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14.16 to 6,437.10, after having been down 20.87 earlier; the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.72 to 744.38.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing issues on the New York Stock Exchange 1,288 to 1,233. Volume totaled 483.7 million shares, above the year's average of 408.8 million.

Fueled by higher prices for Cisco Systems Inc., 3Com Corp. and Tellabs Inc., the Nasdaq composite index advanced 3.10 to 1,300.12, fractionally below a record.

The Russell 2,000 index of small-company shares rose 0.95 to 359.05; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq exchanges, lost 0.52 to 7,219.20; the American Stock Exchange market value index climbed 1.04 to 590.03; and the S&P mid-cap index added 0.05 to 255.82.

So-called cyclical companies such as metal and paper producers Alcoa and International Paper Co., whose fortunes are closely tied to economic growth or weakness, were strong.

Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro cigarettes and Miller beer, paced the Dow industrials' advance, surging $3.4532125 to a record $107.875.

Chances are the company will face fewer court battles and regulatory threats next year, analysts said.

Oil companies jumped as crude oil and petroleum product futures climbed amid concern that U.S. imports from Europe will fall if French oil workers strike as threatened Dec. 10. Royal Dutch climbed $3.625 to $167; Exxon rose $1.125 to $95; Texaco Inc. added $1.25 to $100.375; and Amerada Hess Corp. advanced $1 to $59.75.

Among other gainers, General Motors Corp. Class H stock representing its Hughes Electronics unit, jumped $3.25 to $56.375. Hughes is looking to sell its defense and electronics businesses, which could command $8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. jumped 87.5 cents to $33.25 after management predicted "barn-burner" earnings in the fourth quarter and said actions are planned that will resolve its potential for damages related to cigarettes.

U.S. bonds took their biggest drop in more than three months. The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond climbed to 6.50 percent from 6.39 percent Wednesday and a 10-month low of 6.31 percent early Tuesday.

The worst-hit bank stocks yesterday included Citicorp, down $4.25 to $101.625; Chase Manhattan Corp., $1.75 lower to $88.875; BankAmerica Corp., down $3.125 to $96.375; and Fleet Financial Group Inc., down $2.125 to $51.75.

Retail stocks sank in the face of a mixed bag of November sales reports for stores open more than one year.

Gymboree Corp. tumbled $4.625 to $23.125; Talbots Inc. fell $1.75 to $27.75; and Men's Wearhouse Inc. skidded $4.375 to $21.875.

Electronics retailers were mostly lower after reporting that same-store sales declined in November. Sales dropped 8 percent at Circuit City Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. and 2 percent at Tandy Corp., which operates the Radio Shack and Computer City chains.

Circuit City dropped $1.25 to $32; Best Buy lost 37.5 cents to $13.25; and Tandy rose 12.5 cents to $42.375.

National Semiconductor Corp. rose $1.75 to $27.50. The computer chip manufacturer's fiscal second-quarter earnings fell to 21 cents a share from 61 cents last year, 3 cents higher than analysts' estimates.

Compaq Computer Corp. climbed $2.375 to a record $84.25.

Pub Date: 12/06/96

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