NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average edged forward to a new closing high Thursday as the stock market churned through a busy session.
The Dow Jones average of 30 blue chips, up 17.69 points on Wednesday to surpass the previous closing peak that it reached in mid-summer, gained another 0.79 to close at 1,369.29.
Some other, broader market indicators finished with losses, however, and remained well short of record levels.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange stepped up to 140.51 million shares from 117.36 million on Wednesday.
GNP Growth Rate
Before the market opened, the Commerce Department said the gross national product grew at a 3.3% annual rate in the third quarter, after adjustment for inflation.
That represented a modest upward revision from the "flash" estimate of 2.8% issued by the department last month. However, analysts said an increase at least that large appeared to have been anticipated by the market in its strong rise Wednesday.
In addition, the department reported that housing starts fell 9.3% in September to their lowest level in almost a year. Brokers said that news left some doubts about the present and future pace of economic growth.
"Is the market at a new high or not?" reflected F. Newton Zinder at E. F. Hutton in his daily commentary. "Yes, if you are talking about the DJIA; no, if you are referring to the overall market. All other market measurements still have a long way to go to reach their mid-July peaks."
Gulf & Western led the active list, down 1 at 43 7/8 in trading that included a 6.7-million-share block at 45. Gulf & Western identified itself as the buyer of the block.
Beatrice climbed 1 3/4 to 46 1/8. The company said it received a buy-out offer of $45 a share in cash and securities from the firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Anheuser-Busch dropped 1 1/2 to 35 1/2. The company, which has been the subject of takeover speculation, said Wednesday that it was not engaged in any talks about being acquired.
American Express helped the Dow Jones industrial average advance with a rise of 1 to 43. The company reported third-quarter earnings of $1.08 a share, against 85 cents in the same period last year.
In the daily tally on the Big Board, about eight issues rose in price for every seven that lost ground.
Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 2,569, compared to 2,246 on Wednesday.
In the bond market, prices climbed, extending the day's gains on the late-afternoon report that the nation's basic money supply plunged $3.3 billion in the first week of October.
In the secondary market for Treasury notes and bonds, prices of short-term governments rose 5/32 point from late Wednesday, intermediate maturities rose 1/2 point and long-term issues were up as much as 30/32 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros.
In corporate trading, Salomon Bros. said industrials rose 1/2 point in active trading and utilities rose a full point in moderate trading.
Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, the investment firm said general obligations rose 3/8 point and revenue bonds were up point.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills were off 2 basis points at 7.18%. Six-month bills fell 5 basis points to 7.29%, and one-year bills were off 6 basis points at 7.39%. Yields on 30-year Treasury bonds fell to 10.42% from 10.53% late Wednesday.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, traded at 7.938%, up from 7.875% late Wednesday.