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Stocks Rise on Yet More Good Earnings News

October 23, 1998| From Times Wire Services

U.S. stocks rose for a seventh session as Procter & Gamble, Boeing and most other companies reporting earnings Thursday met or surpassed expectations.

"Earnings have come through pretty well," said Robert Finch, a money manager with Aeltus Investment Management, which oversees $45 billion. About 52% of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that have reported profits for the third quarter have topped expectations and 25% have matched them.

The technology-stock-heavy Nasdaq composite index and the Russell 2,000 index of smaller stocks paced the rally, continuing Wednesday's trend. The Nasdaq advanced 27.89 points, or 1.7%, to 1,702.64, and the Russell gained 6.46 points, or 1.8%, to 366.40.

Blue chips' advance was not as dramatic. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 13.91 points, or 0.2%, to 8,533.14, rebounding in late trading from a 97-point loss. The S&P 500 climbed 8.56 points, or 0.8%, to 1,078.48.

Bond yields rose, with the yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond climbing from 5.07% on Wednesday to 5.13%, the highest yield in more than three weeks.

"Some of the flight-to-quality edge has come off the Treasury market," said Thomas Donne, who manages about $1.9 billion in bonds at Banc One Investment Advisors Group in Columbus, Ohio.

The dollar rose against the Japanese yen, to 117.87 yen from 117 on Wednesday.

Among Thursday's highlights:

* Procter & Gamble rose $3.06 to $86.88, accounting for almost all of the Dow's gain. P&G said quarterly profit rose 7.4% as price increases offset weak sales in Asia.

* Microsoft gained for a second day, rising $3.56 to $110, after reporting better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday.

* WinStar Communications rose $6.31 to $25.88 after it said it will receive $2 billion in phone equipment and financing from Lucent Technologies to expand its wireless phone network.

Market Roundup, C6

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