NEW YORK — The stock market moved higher today, with the Dow Jones industrial average soaring more than 90 points in heavy trading, as investors ignored another fall in the dollar and shopped for bargain-priced issues.
The third-biggest point gain ever also came despite lower prices in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
The Dow average closed up 91.51 points at about 1,938.33, for a 4.9% gain in its value, according to preliminary calculations. During the last hour of trading, the average was up more than 110 points before edging back. It had gained 0.33 Wednesday after swinging erratically.
Volume came to about 258.14 million shares in another abbreviated session on the New York Stock Exchange. Markets have been closing two hours early to allow people to catch up on paper work, and will continue to have shortened hours at least through Friday.
Analysts said they were surprised that Wall Street opened so strongly today but said the market may have gotten some encouragement from signs of stability that emerged during Wednesday's session.
The market's strength in the face of the overseas losses and the dollar's weakness was a positive sign, said Jack Baker, head of block trading at Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc.
"We're pretty impressed," he said.
A. C. Moore, an analyst with Argus Research Corp., said the market rose despite the dollar's slide because Wall Street was "reflexing higher from an extremely oversold position."
Eight stocks rose in price for every three that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
Prices Up in London
Prices rose slightly today on the London Stock Exchange, where the main market index closed up 1.4%. Analysts said British trading was aided by the higher prices on Wall Street.
In Tokyo earlier today, prices closed lower, with a key market indicator finishing down 2.4%. Prices also closed lower today in Hong Kong, where one closely watched index was down 7% in moderate trading.
The dollar, which opened in Tokyo today at 138.60 yen, fell as low as 137.40 yen in afternoon trading before closing at 137.55 yen--its lowest closing level since modern exchange rate figures were set in the late 1940s. The final figure was significantly below the dollar's Wednesday close of 140.75 yen.