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Market Hits Record High; Dow Gains 15 : Evidence of Strong Economy Boosts 30 Industrials to 1,299.36

March 02, 1985|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — The stock market rolled up a broad gain to a record high Friday, closing just short of the 1,300 level in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Analysts said new evidence of strength in the economy helped inspire investors.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, which traded as high as the 1,304-1,305 range at mid-session, closed with a 15.35-point gain at 1,299.36.

That topped the previous closing peak of 1,297.92 reached Feb. 13 and brought the average's net advance for the week to 23.52 points.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange reached 139.87 million shares, up from 100.72 million Thursday.

Before the market opened, the Commerce Department reported that the index of leading economic indicators rose 1.7% last month.

It was the largest increase in the index, which is designed to detect future economic trends, since it jumped 1.9% in June, 1983. The latest figure came in well above most advance estimates on Wall Street.

Stock Traders Encouraged

The news drew a mixed response in the credit markets, where interest rates lately have been rising on fears of a tighter Federal Reserve credit policy and the prospect of increased loan demand in an economy growing faster than had been anticipated.

But stock traders evidently read it as a positive portent for corporate profits in the months ahead. Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige said the figures signaled "renewed upward momentum in employment and output."

The government also said construction spending rose 2% last month after a revised increase of 0.6% in December.

CBS jumped 4 to 88 1/2 amid reports that Ted Turner, who owns Cable News Network and other broadcasting properties, might be seeking to take over the company. CBS said it had had no discussions with Turner about any such move.

Other broadcasting stocks got caught up in the same takeover speculation. American Broadcasting Cos. rose 2 1/2 to 69 1/2 and RCA, parent of NBC, 1 1/2 to 40 3/4. RCA led the active list in trading that included a 1.8-million-share block at 40 1/2.

Among the blue-chip industrials, International Business Machines rose 1 7/8 to 135 7/8, General Electric 1/2 to 64 1/8, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing 2 to 84 and American Telephone & Telegraph 5/8 to 21 7/8.

On the down side, Varian Associates fell 2 1/2 to 35. The company said its earnings for the quarter ending March 29 will fall short of expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered declines by well over two to one in the daily tally on the Big Board.

Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 2,616, compared to 1,884 on Thursday.

In the credit markets, yields on 30-year Treasury bonds fell to 11.81% from 11.90% late Thursday. They had flirted with 12% late Wednesday.

In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments were up 3/32 point, intermediate maturities were up between 1/8 point and 5/8 point and long-term issues were up as much as 7/8 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros. Inc.

In corporate trading, industrials and utilities were up point in light trading.

Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations rose point and revenue bonds were up 1/2 point in moderate activity.

Yields on three-month Treasury bills rose 15 basis points to 8.67%. Six-month bills were up 13 basis points at 8.95%, and one-year bills were up 8 basis points at 9.05%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

The closely watched federal funds rate--the charge on overnight loans between banks--traded at 8.75%, up from 8.813% late Thursday.

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