NEW YORK — Blue-chip stocks gave back a portion of Monday's gain, but other stocks fared better, and the market managed to finish narrowly mixed after an indecisive session Tuesday.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, up about 19 points Monday, fell 5.82 to 1,787.95.
But advances edged declines by about 60 issues in the overall tally on the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE composite index slipped 0.14 to 136.77.
Volume on the Big Board expanded to 121.18 million shares from Monday's exceptionally light total of 102.40 million.
"It's was one of those yo-yo sessions," said Hildegarde Zagorski, associate vice president for Prudential-Bache Securities. "The stock market took its cue from the bond market."
Bond trading was volatile as the Treasury launched a $27-billion financing operation with an auction of $9 billion in three-year notes. The operation continues today and Thursday with sales of 10-year notes and 30-year bonds.
There have been fears that the flood of new notes and bonds would push interest rates higher.
Average Yield Down
After trading was closed on Wall Street, the Treasury said the average yield on the three-year notes fell to 6.97% at the auction from 8.11% at the last sale of such securities on Feb. 4.
Stocks showed little reaction to the results of the economic summit in Tokyo. The United States and its six leading trading partners agreed to more closely coordinate their economic policies to reduce volatility in currency values.
Although orchestrated interest rate reductions weren't mentioned as part of the accord, some analysts assume that the countries will try to push rates lower.
A cut in U.S. interest rates may be needed to jolt the economy out of its lethargy, some analysts believe.
Sperry was the NYSE volume leader and gained 6 to 71. Burroughs, which jumped 3 1/2 to 63 1/2, has offered $70 a share in cash and securities for Sperry.
Several components in the Dow Jones industrial average sported gains in the early going but ended down on the day. International Business Machines dropped back 1 3/8 to 154, American Telephone & Telegraph fell 3/8 to 25 1/8 and Chevron dipped to 39 3/8.
Control Data, which said it will sell its Ticketron division to an investment group, pushed ahead by 1 to 23 7/8.
Penney's Moves Up
J. C. Penney was also in the plus column, up 2 to 69 1/2. The retailer said it expects first-quarter earnings to be at least 20% higher than a year earlier.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 148.72 million shares.
Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 2,258, compared to 1,915 on Monday.
In the bond market, yields on the key 30-year Treasury bonds rose about 1/2 point, or $5 for every $1,000 in face value.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments fell 3/16 point, intermediate maturities fell 3/4 point and long-term issues were down about 1/2 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros.
In corporate trading, industrials and utilities fell point in light trading.
Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations fell point and revenue bonds were down point. Trading was light to moderate.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills were unchanged at 6.05%. Six-month bills were unchanged at 6.07%. One-year bills were up one basis point to 6.09%.