NEW YORK — The stock market eked out its fourth straight gain Monday in a sluggish follow-through to last week's rally.
The Dow Jones index of 30 industrials, up more than 15 points in early trading, finished with a 4.30 gain at 2,613.04.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange slowed to 154.38 million shares from 178.02 million on Friday.
Stocks advanced at the outset as bond prices rose.
Traders were encouraged that the currency, bond and stock markets weathered news last week of a record U.S. trade deficit for July without any notable disruption.
Some analysts argue that, while the trade figures look bad at the moment, the U.S. position in relation to its major trading partners is beginning to improve.
Odds Favor Still-Higher Levels
As the session passed, however, bonds gave up most of their early gains, and stocks ran into selling by traders worried that the pullback in stocks that began late last month had not yet run its course.
Historically, said analyst Newton F. Zinder at E. F. Hutton & Co., a gain in the Dow in the week after Labor Day indicates that the odds favor a still-higher level for the average 30 days later.
"This indicator has a good record, but did have a big miss last year," he pointed out in his daily market commentary. "So don't mortgage the homestead based on this indicator, or any other one for that matter."
Small Blue Chip Gains
RJR Nabisco dropped 1 to 66 3/4 after trading as high as 69 5/8 as the company confirmed talk that it was developing a type of cigarette that is consumed by means of heating tobacco rather than burning it.
The stock rose strongly last week as reports of the "smokeless" innovation circulated, and brokers said some traders took profits when the news became official.
Among other actively traded blue chips, International Business Machines rose 7/8 to 162 and American Express gained 3/4 to 38. But American Telephone & Telegraph slipped 1/8 to 32 7/8.
Telex tumbled 13 1/2 to 51 7/8. The company said its revenue and earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 30 will fall short of expectations, adding that its earnings for the full fiscal year ending next spring will be about flat.
HAL Inc., traded on the American Stock Exchange, jumped 15 5/8 to 46 1/8. Hemmeter Corp. of Honolulu said it plans to acquire HAL, the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, for $50 a share.
Advancing issues outnumbered declines by about 9 to 8 on the NYSE. The exchange's composite index gained 0.52 to 180.54.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 178.24 million shares.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials rose 1.05 to 378.12, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was up 1.10 at 323.08.
The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market dipped .68 to 445.49. At the Amex, the market-value index closed at 355.19, up 0.22.
The Wilshire index of 5,000 equities closed at 3,177.157, up 8.090.
In the bond market, the Treasury's closely watched 30-year bond fell 1/8 point, or $1.25 for every $1,000 in face value. Its yield, which moves inversely to its price, rose to 9.51% from 9.49% late Friday.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term government issues rose 3/32 point to 3/16 point, intermediate maturities were between 1/32 point lower to 3/16 point higher and 20-year issues were up 1/32 point, according to the financial reporting service Telerate Inc.
The movement of a point is equivalent to a change of $10 in the price of a bond with a $1,000 face value.
The Merrill Lynch daily Treasury index, which measures price movements on all outstanding Treasury issues with maturities of a year or longer, was up 0.16 to 108.02. The Shearson Lehman daily Treasury bond index, which makes a similar measurement, was up 1.59 at 1,131.35.
In corporate trading, industrials and utilities were unchanged in light trading, Salomon Bros. said.
Moody's investment grade corporate bond index, which measures price movements on 100 corporate bonds with maturities of five years or longer, gained 0.48 to 256.11.
T-Bill Yields Slip
Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations rose point and revenue bonds rose 3/8 point in light trading, the investment firm Salomon Bros. said.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills slipped 2 basis points to 6.33%. Six-month bills advanced 12 basis points to 6.50% and one-year bills were unchanged at 7.09%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
The Treasury Department sold $6.4 billion in three-month bills at an average discount rate of 6.32%, down from 6.45% last week. An additional $6.4 billion was sold in new six-month bills at an average discount rate of 6.64%, down from 6.72% last week.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 7.187%, up from 7.125% late Friday.