NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose for the first time in eight sessions as oil, retail and financial shares gained on optimism that today's jobs report will show that the economy is growing with little inflation.
The market was also lifted by International Business Machines Corp., which won a $16 billion order to supply Dell Computer Corp. with computer parts. IBM will gain a steady source of sales and Dell will get access to advanced technology to use in more sophisticated machines.
IBM climbed $4.25, to $171, accounting for 17 points of the Dow average's gain. Dell, which rose 93.75 cents, to $81.875, was the most active stock in U.S. trading with more than 41 million shares changing hands.
Dell had lost a quarter of its value from Feb. 2 through yesterday, because of slower sales growth. IBM was down 15 percent since Jan. 21.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 191.52, or 2.1 percent, to 9,467.40, post- ing its biggest gain since Feb. 22, led by American Express Co., IBM and Sears, Roebuck & Co.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 18.94, or 1.5 percent, to 1,246.64, lifted by oil shares, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 27.69, or 1.2 per- cent, to 2,292.89.
Elsewhere on the broad market, the Russell 2,000 index, a benchmark of small-cap stocks, rose 2.07, to 394.02; the Wilshire 5,000 index jumped 150.83, to 11,368.78; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 4.07, to 698.52; and the S&P 400 midcap index added 4.54, to 361.79.
The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks gained 0.95, to 182.02.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 13-to-9 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled about 771 million shares.
Among oil-related shares, Chevron Corp. gained $1.3125, to $79.3125; Exxon Corp. rose $2.125, to $67.8125; and Schlumberger Ltd. jumped $4.625, to $56.375.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the No. 1 retailer, climbed $2, to $89.375, after reporting that its same-store sales rose 10 percent. AnnTaylor Stores Corp. rose $2.75, to $41.75, after reporting a sales increase of 21 percent.
Sears gained $3.125, to $43.75, after naming former Safeway Inc. executive Julian Day as executive vice president and chief financial officer.
American Express jumped $5.1875, to $113, contributing most to the Dow average's gain, after analyst William Ryan at Salomon Smith Barney rated the travel and financial-services company "buy" in new coverage, saying it should deliver at least 8 percent in annual revenue growth and 14 percent growth in earnings per share as it expands its international card business and asset management services.
Merrill Lynch & Co. shot up $6.6875, to $84.375, after the U.S. securities firm with the most brokers said it will offer online trading for some clients for the first time beginning yesterday.
Level One Communications Inc. is likely to soar today; Intel Corp. said late yesterday that it will buy the maker of chips used in networking equipment for $2.2 billion in stock, paying an 80 percent premium to the company's closing price of $27.125, down $5.125.
Pub Date: 3/05/99