NEW YORK — The stock market finished narrowly mixed Tuesday as retail stocks and some takeover candidates posted gains while airline issues led the losers in quiet Veterans Day trading.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, which rose 5.76 points on Monday, gained another 3.66 to close at 1,895.95.
But declining issues slightly outnumbered gainers among New York Stock Exchange-listed issues with 771 down, 762 up and 445 unchanged.
Volume on the Big Board slowed to 118.52 million shares from 120.22 million on Monday.
Many banks, the Federal Reserve and the government securities market were closed in observance of Veterans Day.
Michael Metz, market strategist for the investment firm Oppenheimer & Co., said that with the banks closed, professional traders and speculators exerted more influence than normal on the day's stock price movements.
He noted that a majority of the 10 most actively traded stocks have been the subject of takeover speculation or restructuring rumors.
Nonetheless, he and other analysts said they detected no significant selling pressure and were encouraged that the market held on to most of the gains it has achieved since the Dow Jones industrial average broke above 1,800 in mid-October.
Raymond F. DeVoe Jr., market strategist for the brokerage firm Legg Mason Wood Walker, said he felt that the corporate earnings outlook has improved. He said the latest corporate earnings results showed year-to-year improvements in a wide range of industries for the first time since 1984.
USX Corp. topped the list of actively traded stocks and fell 1/8 to 23 3/4. The company has been talking privately with investor Carl C. Icahn, who earlier had proposed a friendly takeover at $31 a share. It is also trying to resolve a lengthy strike.
Second most active was Staley Continental, a corn refiner and food service products firm. It rose 2 1/8 to 34 1/8. The company said it knew of no reason for the activity in its stock.
Retail issues were mostly higher. Federated Department Stores rose 4 to 99, Sears, Roebuck at 43 7/8 and J. C. Penney 2 1/2 at 85. Penney reported Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings rose 25% to $1.55 a share.
Oppenheimer's Metz noted that there has been takeover speculation in the retailing industry.
Alleghany Corp. rose 8 to a new high of 111 a day after it proposed a financial restructuring that would pay shareholders an estimated $41 a share and give them stock in an Alleghany subsidiary.
But several airline issues fell amid speculation that fuel prices could move higher if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can reach an agreement and that new fare wars could erupt within the industry. Delta was down 1 3/8 at 48 7/8, AMR Corp. 1 7/8 to 57 5/8 and UAL 2 at 57 5/8.
Block Trades Rise
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 142.07 million shares.
Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 2,439, compared to 2,247 on Monday.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials rose 1.40 to 275.21, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was up 0.95 at 247.08.
In the credit markets, bond prices and interest rates were little changed in quiet holiday trading.
The Salomon Bros. investment firm said government bond prices were largely unchanged, with dealings limited to a handful of institutional trades.