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FINANCIAL MARKETS : Dow Sets Another Record, but Bonds, Dollar Soften

March 18, 1995|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Blue-chip stocks ended Friday at the third record high of the week, but the broader stock market was held back by weak bonds and the dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 4.50 points at 4,073.65, topping its last record of 4,069.15 set Thursday.

Traders attributed the Dow's buoyancy to Friday's triple expiration of stock options and futures contracts.

The broader market was not nearly as strong as the blue chips, with declining issues leading advancers by about 13 to 9 on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume was very heavy because of the expirations, logging in at 417.51 million shares, easily topping Thursday's figure of 339.80 million.

Friday's expirations aside, there is "an overall bullish momentum" to the stock market, said Bob Walberg, market analyst at MMS International in Chicago.

Stocks were also taking support from the growing consensus among investors that the economy has slowed in a soft landing, said Larry Wachtel, market analyst at Prudential Securities.

The weakness in the broader market was reflected in other market indexes, which finished mixed.

The NYSE's composite index fell 0.08 point to 267.84. The Nasdaq composite index fell 1.11 points to 808.23, and the American Stock Exchange's market value index slipped 0.45 point to 456.02.

But the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 0.22 point to 495.63.

Yields in the Treasury bond market edged slightly higher in light trading as traders sold bonds to cash in on this week's price run-up.

The benchmark 30-year bond yields closed at 7.37%, up from Thursday's 7.36%, while its price, which moves in the opposite direction, dipped 3/16 point, or $1.88 per $1,000 in face value.

The dollar, meanwhile, muddled to a mixed finish as global traders went on a buying binge for marks, driving the powerful German currency sharply higher against other major world denominations.

The greenback finished in New York at 89.05 yen and about 1.386 marks, down from 90.25 yen and 1.396 marks, respectively.

Among Friday's highlights:

* KingWorld Productions jumped 3 1/2 to 39 1/2 on a published report that the company is looking for a buyer. The syndicator of popular video programs such as Oprah Winfrey and Jeopardy declined to comment.

* Lockheed Martin rose 1 7/8 to 53 1/2 on a buy recommendation by Bear Stearns.

* Among the Dow 30 components, DuPont gained the most and ended 7/8 higher at 57 3/4. It was followed by Sears, up 7/8 at 51 1/4.

Bringing up the rear in the Dow index were IBM, down 3/4 at 82 3/4, and General Motors, off 3/4 at 41 1/8.

* Motorola fell 1 to 55 3/8 on active trading on the Big Board. The semiconductor maker and Cincinnati Microwave agreed to license each other's patents for the cellular digital packet data standard, which allows for the wireless transmission of data over cellular networks.

* Aldila was down 7/16 at 6 5/16. The stock had been rising for the third consecutive session on unconfirmed speculation that the maker of golf-club shafts would be bought.

* Telefonos de Mexico led in volume on the Big Board, but the price was unchanged at 26 1/8.

Overseas markets were mixed. Tokyo's 225-issue Nikkei average ended the week at 16.251.23, down 104.45 points for the day. On the Frankfurt exchange, the DAX 30-share average ended up 13.18 points at 2,005.24. In Mexico City, the Bolsa climbed 14.58 points to 1,604.16.

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