NEW YORK — Stock prices were mixed Wednesday in active pre-holiday trading as the Dow Jones industrial average hovered just below record highs.
The average of 30 blue chips rose 4.64 to 1,916.76. But declining issues outnumbered advances by about 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Over the five previous trading days, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 94.91 points, mounting a challenge to its record closing high of 1,919.71 reached on Sept. 4. Volume on the Big Board came to 151.99 million shares, against 154.57 million Tuesday.
On Wednesday, brokers said, investors moved to cash in on some of the market's recent gains. But prices began advancing again near the close.
Analysts said the rally in the past week caught many market participants by surprise, coming as it did just after the insider trading scandal broke involving arbitrageur Ivan F. Boesky. Contrary to the expectations of many, the Boesky affair apparently has neither depressed the general market nor brought a halt to takeovers and takeover speculation.
Chesebrough-Pond's led the active list Wednesday, up 12 at 61 1/2, on turnover of more than 7.7 million shares. Late Tuesday, American Brands offered to acquire Chesebrough-Pond's for $66 a share. Colgate-Palmolive rose 4 3/4 to 45 on conjecture that it also might attract a would-be acquirer's eye. Lockheed, which has been the subject of recurring unconfirmed takeover rumors, gained 2 to 55 3/4.
The bond market moved higher in thin pre-holiday trading, recovering some of the losses it suffered in the previous session in reaction to the dollar's sharp decline against other major currencies.
The dollar turned mixed in quiet trading Wednesday, before the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, the key 30-year issue, which had fallen as much as $7.50 per $1,000 face amount on Tuesday, rose about $3.75. Its yield fell to 7.42% from 7.45% in the previous session.
Prices of short-term governments rose 3/32 point, intermediate maturities rose 5/32 point and 20-year issues were up 1/8 point, according to the investment firm of Salomon Bros. In corporate trading, industrials were unchanged and utilities fell 1/8 point in light trading.
Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations were unchanged and revenue bonds dropped 1/8 point. Trading was light. Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell 2 basis points to 5.38%. Six-month bills were down 2 basis points to 5.41%, and one-year bills were off 4 basis points at 5.45%.