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Dow Wanders to 6.99 Gain; Oil Rebounds : Market Overview

July 20, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Blue-chip stocks finished higher Monday as second-quarter earnings reports brought a few surprises but largely fell within expectations.

* Oil futures rebounded from a three-year low after OPEC announced it will hold an emergency meeting next week to try to halt the recent slide in crude prices.

* The dollar moved lower against key European currencies but strengthened mildly on the yen, which some traders attributed to the inconclusive outcome of the Japanese elections.

* Long-term bond yields were unchanged.

Stocks

Stocks wandered throughout much of the day, floating around Friday's close, before a late-session rally took the Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks to its high of the day shortly before the close.

The Dow finished 6.99 points higher at 3,535.28. But declining issues outnumbered advancers on the New York Stock Exchange by about 5 to 4.

Trading was light. Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 216.37 million shares, down from Friday's 263.10 million.

* Technology stocks were beaten down again, following a selloff Friday triggered by disappointing results from Apple Computer. Apple, which fell 23% on Friday, dropped another 1 7/8 to 25 5/8. IBM fell 2 to 43 5/8 and Digital dropped 1 5/8 to 37 5/8.

* Microsoft lost 2 3/8 to 78 3/4. The Federal Trade Commission will consider this week whether the software company competes unfairly.

* Picturetel continued to suffer from last week's weak earnings and a new product some say will compete too closely with the company's other offerings. The interactive computer and video company fell 3 to 16 1/2.

* But some technology stocks rose Monday. Intel finished 3/8 higher at 50 7/8 and Novell rose 1/4 to 23 1/4.

* Higher oil prices helped energy companies post some gains. Two components of the Dow average, Chevron and Exxon, were higher. Chevron rose 1 3/4 to 83 7/8 and Exxon rose 1 1/4 to 64 3/4.

* McDonnell Douglas surprised the aircraft sector with a sharp earnings increase, some of which was the result of a onetime gain. The aerospace company finished 3 1/4 higher at 75 1/4.

Overseas, shares closed at a new 1993 high in Frankfurt. The 30-share DAX ended 22.82 higher at 1,836.28. London's Financial Times 100-share average finished down 0.6 points at 2,831.7.

Commodities

Oil futures rebounded from a three-year low after OPEC announced it will hold the emergency meeting next week to try to halt the recent slide in crude prices.

Light, sweet crude oil for August delivery settled 49 cents higher at $17.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after recovering from an opening plunge to $16.75, the lowest price for near-term deliveries since July 10, 1990.

Elsewhere, gold for current delivery fetched $3.92 an ounce, up 40 cents from Friday.

Silver eased to $5.042 an ounce, down from $5.050 on Friday.

Other Markets

Currency brokers said the foreign exchange market was quiet, with no significant economic news to influence the dollar's direction.

Most of the trading in Europe was characterized by the notable absence of aggressive speculators in the weak European currencies.

In New York, the dollar fetched 108.46 Japanese yen, down 0.91 yen from Friday's 107.55. The greenback closed at 1.706 German marks, down from the previous session's 1.716 marks.

Meanwhile, in the bond market, Treasury securities were little changed as traders marked time ahead of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony on monetary policy before Congress today.

The yield on the Treasury's main 30-year bond held at 6.54%, unchanged from late Friday's close, its lowest level since the Treasury began regularly auctioning 30-year bonds in 1977. The long bond's price rose 1/32 point, or 31 cents per $1,000 in face value.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 3.125%, up

Market Roundup, D8

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