Stocks rise for 7th day Dow closes at 8,533.14

Nasdaq -- led by Microsoft, other computer shares -- soars 20% in two weeks

Wall Street

October 23, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose for a seventh straight day as Procter & Gamble Co., Boeing Co. and most other companies that reported earnings met or surpassed expectations.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.91, to 8,533.14, rebounding from a 97-point loss earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 8.56, to 1,078.48. The Nasdaq composite index gained 27.89, to 1,702.64, led by Microsoft Corp.

Procter & Gamble, the largest U.S. maker of consumer products, rose $3.0625, to $86.875, accounting for almost all of the Dow average's gain. P&G said quarterly profit rose 7.4 percent as price increases offset weak sales in Asia and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

Microsoft gained for a second day, finishing up $3.5625, to $110. Late Tuesday, the company reported better-than-expected earnings and told analysts their forecasts were too low. The Nasdaq, dominated by Microsoft and other computer shares, has soared 20 percent in two weeks.

Small-capitalization shares rallied for a seventh day. The Russell 2000 index, a small- and mid-cap benchmark, gained 6.46, to 366.40. It is up 18 percent since Oct. 8.

Among other broad indexes yesterday, the Wilshire 5,000 index gained 82.20, to 9,802.40; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 8.32, to 628.87; and the S&P 400 midcap index added 3.42, to 320.18.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 Maryland stocks by market valuation, gained 2.15, to 181.78.

Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange in trading of 743 million shares. Boeing, the No. 1 maker of passenger jetliners, gained 43.75 cents, to $36.4375, after reporting profit rose to 30 cents a share, 3 cents better than forecasts. A year after being hampered by parts and labor shortages, Boeing said plane production is running more smoothly, but warned that it may cut production as economies slump around the world.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. fell 81.25 cents, to $46.375, after reporting quarterly profit from operations of 63 cents, a penny better than expectations.

Chevron Corp. fell $5.75, to $81.50, trimming 23 points from the Dow average, after the oil company said third-quarter earnings fell 47 percent as crude oil prices fell to 12-year lows, partly because of lower demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. fell $2.8125, to $81.4375, after reporting third-quarter profit fell 9.3 percent as weaker currencies in Asia and other regions hurt the company.

Conoco Inc., the eighth-largest U.S. oil producer and refiner, gained $1.875, to $24.875, in its first day of trading. About 38 million shares changed hands, making the stock the most active in U.S. trading. On Wednesday, Conoco raised $4.4 billion, making it the biggest-ever U.S. initial stock sale, almost 50 percent larger than Lucent Technologies Inc.'s $3.03 billion sale in April 1996.

Lucent fell 56.25 cents, to $78.4375. While the telecommunications equipment company reported better-than-expected earnings, its stock rose 39 percent in anticipation in the past two weeks. Household International Inc. fell $3.75, to $33.125, after the U.S. lender to consumers warned that 1999 earnings will be lower than expected.

Pub Date: 10/23/98

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