NEW YORK — Wall Street's broad advance continued in heavy trading today with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing 55.20 points, and New York Stock Exchange officials announced that trading hours will be extended next week.
The strong rise in the Dow average put the market's best-known barometer at about 1,993.53, according to early unofficial figures. Today's advance, its seventh-largest point-gain ever, represented an increase of 2.8% in the average's value.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 303.36 million shares, against 258.14 million in the previous session.
Officials at the NYSE said today that trading hours will be extended gradually next week but will not resume the normal schedule of closing at 4 p.m EST. Trading on the Big Board, which had closed at 2 p.m. all this week, will be extended to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, officials said.
The American exchange and over-the-counter markets said they will also follow that schedule.
'Shortening trading hours has resulted in smooth processing of the unprecedented volume of recent weeks," NYSE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John J. Phelan Jr. said. "Barring any unforeseen events in the market, we expect to move back to a normal 4 p.m. closing by Monday, Nov. 9."
In trading today, prices rose for seven out of eight issues on the NYSE and were broadly higher on the American Stock Exchange and on the over-the-counter market.
On Thursday, the closely watched index closed up 91.51 points--its third-largest one-day point gain ever--to close at 1,938.33. The advance represented 5% of its value and followed a 0.33-point gain Wednesday.
Analysts said the market was up today because it was oversold, with prices low as a result of sales far exceeding purchases, after its $500-billion dive a week ago Monday.
Wall Street's ability to shake off developments such as the dollar's decline on Thursday "indicates an oversold market won't go down on bad news anymore," said Robert Colby, an analyst with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.
Ralph Acampora, an analyst with Kidder, Peabody & Co., said investors were gaining confidence following Thursday's advance and because of negotiations in Washington toward cutting the federal budget deficit.
"A little bit of a ray of hope, a little confidence came in," he said.
Dollar Higher Overseas
The dollar was mostly higher overseas today but fell in New York trading.
In London, stocks rose sharply, with the Financial Times-Stock Exchange index of 100 leading shares closing up about 4%. The government decided late Thursday to go ahead with selling shares in British Petroleum Co., the government-owned oil giant, despite the depressed market.
The government promised to buy back any shares that could not be sold, a move that helps the brokerage firms underwriting the stock offering.
Prices soared on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today. The Nikkei Stock Average, a key indicator, climbed 731.15 points, or 3.3%, in its third biggest single-day gain on record.