Stocks Mixed in Light Trading; Dow Off 0.67

August 27, 1985|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — The stock market was mixed Monday at the close of a listless late-summer session.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks slipped 0.67 to 1,317.65, while some other, broader market measures eked out small gains.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange dropped off to 70.29 million shares from 75.27 million on Friday.

Stocks staged a modest rally last week after four consecutive weeks of declines. But analysts noted that the advance faded on Thursday and Friday.

They said market participants were still watching cautiously for evidence to support hopes that the pace of business activity would pick up in the closing stages of the year.

The week before Labor Day has traditionally been a good one for the market, as investors look ahead to the "business New Year" after the summer vacation season draws to an end.

However, brokers also point out that there is little fresh economic news on the calendar until Friday, when the government reports on leading indicators, factory orders and the trade balance for July.

SCM climbed 2 to 67 7/8. The company's board urged shareholders not to respond to a $60-a-share takeover offer from Hanson Trust, a diversified British company. But the position taken by the directors was interpreted as a possible signal that they would look favorably on a higher bid.

Mesa Petroleum, which plans to transform itself into a limited partnership, rose 1 5/8 to 17 1/8.

Takeover Candidate

E. F. Hutton gained 2 1/8 to 37 1/2 amid rumors that the company might be a takeover candidate. Robert Rittereiser, the company's president, said Hutton wasn't involved in any merger talks and knew of no reason for the trading activity.

Middle South Utilities tumbled 1 to 9. Two subsidiaries said they would not pay dividends to the parent holding company, prompting expectations that MSU might also decide later this week to reduce or omit its dividend.

National Semiconductor dropped 3/4 to 12 following the company's report Friday of a loss for the first eight weeks of the fiscal quarter that ends Sept. 22.

Sperry closed up 1 7/8 at 51 1/8 amid rumors that Sperry may sell its New Holland division, which makes farm equipment.

Western Airlines led the active list, up 1/8 at 7 3/8 in trading that included a 2.34-million-share block at 7 1/8.

American Telephone & Telegraph, also active, was down at 21 1/8. Analysts quoted in the Wall Street Journal questioned how much benefit on the bottom line the company would derive from cost-cutting measures announced last week.

More Advancing Issues

In the daily tally on the Big Board, advancing issues slightly outnumbered declines. The exchange's composite index rose 0.10 to 108.59.

Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 87.09 million shares.

Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 1,168, compared to 1,273 on Friday.

Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials rose 0.30 to 208.19, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was up 0.14 to 187.31.

The Wilshire index of 5,000 equities closed at 1,939.046, up 0.736.

The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market fell 0.39 to 296.29.

At the American Stock Exchange, the market-value index closed at 231.62, down 0.03.

In the credit markets, bond prices closed little changed in quiet trading, recovering late in the day from losses in the early going.

Long-Term Bonds Off

Long-term bonds, off 3/8 point at midday, closed off 2/32 point. The movement of a point is equivalent to a change of $10 in the price of a bond with a $1,000 face value.

In the secondary market for Treasury bills, three-month T-bills finished the day at 7.06% in the secondary market, unchanged from Friday's late level. Six-month bills rose 1 basis point from Friday to 7.21% and one-year bills were down 3 basis points at 7.39%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments were unchanged to up 1/32 point, intermediate maturities were up 2/32 point and long-term issues were down 2/32 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros.

The Merrill Lynch daily Treasury index, which measures price movements on all outstanding Treasury issues with maturities of a year or longer, fell 0.08 to 106.51. The Shearson Lehman daily Treasury bond index, which makes a similar measurement, rose 0.69 to 1,117.44.

In corporate trading, industrials and utilities were unchanged. Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations were unchanged and revenue bonds slipped 1/8 point.

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