Well, there wasn't a lot going on, but it was enough to send stocks to a record high--again!
Most of the major indexes got a boost. The
Dow Jones Industrials Average
added 14.23 points to its highest close ever, 6560.91, its 44th record close this year. Nonchalant traders seemed to yawn at the marker, shuffling a mere 246 million shares. The broader
was up 1.00 at 756.82, while the
, which measures small-cap stocks, rose 1.15 to 358.87. The
was the contrarian, dropping 3.01 to 1291.56.
The glamour boys in equities got a hand from falling interest rates. The 30-year Treasury bond, the benchmark for interest rates around the world, fell to 6.54% after the
gave bond traders a belated Christmas present: an unexpectedly steep fall in
durable goods orders.
That dip salved traders who had worried the economy's six-year expansion could start to generate inflation.
(INVN:Nasdaq) also got good news from the government. The
Federal Aviation Administration
bought $52 million in bomb detection equipment, with an option to purchase $59 million more, from the Forest City, Calif.,-based company. Its shares jumped 5 3/4 to 31 1/2.
Federal Communications Commission
blessed the union of
(INF:NYSE), sending shares of both higher. Westinghouse, which jumped 7/8 to 19 1/4, gets 43 new stations. Infinity rose 1 1/2 to 33. Wonder what Infinity-mainstay Howard Stern thinks?
Not everybody got gifts.
gave up 21% after the Long Island-based maker of data-base software reported slumping sales in Europe. It fell 13 1/4 to 48 1/2. Other software stocks on the Nasdaq fell slightly:
(ORCL:Nasdaq) dropped 1 3/16 to 42 7/8;
(NOVL:Nasdaq) slid 1 1/16 to 9 1/2 while
(MSFT:Nasdaq) gave up a half to 85.
Marvel Entertainment Group
(MRV:NYSE), the publisher of
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move gives Marvel chief Ron Perelman greater control over the company, which didn't trade today. The comic book maker last traded at 2 3/8.
Big winners: Japanese investors in U.S. equities and bonds. They watched the dollar rise above the psychologically significant 115-yen level for the first time in 44 months. The rise in the dollar means they get an additional bang when they repatriate their U.S. investments.
By Andrew Morse