Equities capped the week and the month with a moderate rally as the truncated post-Thanksgiving session brought the year's lowest trading volume.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
traded as high as 7853.22, up 58.44, around noon EST but weakened in the final hour of trading. By the early 1 p.m. close, the blue-chip measure was up 28.35 to 7823.13.
The other major indices hung onto advances as well, with the broad
up 3.76 to 955.40, the tech-filled
Nasdaq Composite Index
up 6.05 to 1600.55 and the small-cap
up 1.76 to 429.92.
"I'm quite impressed with how resilient this market is in the face of all the news," said Bob Dickey, chief technical analyst at
in Minneapolis. "Maybe the Far East problems will affect us far into the future sometime, but for the short term we're looking really good. Until we've got some concrete numbers to work with as far as how the Asian problems might affect earnings, the market's going to continue to rally. I think we're going over
Dow 8000 again. Of course, that's just a stone's throw away. We could see new highs."
Dow Jones Utilities Average
is already there, today setting its third straight all-time high with a tiny uptick of 0.08 to 258.64. "The action in the utilities is very bullish for the overall market, bullish for rates and bullish for the economy," Dickey said.
The monthlong recovery from the Oct. 27 "market event" (or select your own euphemism) clearly has belonged to big, safe names, despite those companies' greater exposure to Asia and its many worries. For the month of November, the Dow was up 381.05, or 5.1%; the S&P 500 was up 40.78, or 4.5%; the Nasdaq was up 6.94, or 0.4%; and the Russell 2000 lagged with a loss of 3.34, or 0.7%.
"I would think that this market's going to go on the upside until the small-caps have had a really good run," Dickey said. "They're going to be late in the cycle as usual, and right now they aren't playing."
Market internals were modestly positive on trading floors that were either ghost towns or overrun by visiting kids (as at the
New York Stock Exchange
). NYSE advancers led decliners by 1,660 to 1,031 on 190.5 million shares. New Big Board highs outpaced new lows by 116 to 44. On the Nasdaq, 1,980 advancers beat 1,698 decliners on 213.8 million shares. New Nasdaq lows barely edged new highs, 78 to 73, continuing the recent trend.
For the week, the Dow lost 57.94, or 0.7%; the S&P 500 lost 7.69, or 0.8%; the Nasdaq lost 20.20, or 1.2%; and the Russell 2000 lost 5.13, or 1.2%.
In a trendless day of trading on the fixed-income side, the bellwether 30-year Treasury bond was unchanged at 101 3/32 in price, the yield remaining at 6.05%.
Friday's market action
Second-tier long-distance provider
advanced 2 11/16 to a 52-week high of 46 3/4 after late
Wednesday agreeing to be acquired by
Teleport Communications Group
in a stock deal valued at $50 per share, or about $1 billion. Teleport skidded 1 9/16 to 49.
, which had offered its own $50-per-share bid for ACC, said it might up its offer if Teleport's share price moves outside the deal's collar (an average close between 45 and 55 in the 10 days before the deal's close). Tel-Save crept up 1/16 to 21 5/8.
, which lost out to
, ran up 7/8 to 50 3/4 on a
report that it is in preliminary merger talks with fellow losing MCI suitor
surged 3 3/4, or 19%, to a 52-week high of 23 3/4 after agreeing to buy
medical device unit for $370 million. Bristol-Myers moved up 3/8 to 93 5/8.
rocketed 7 3/8, or 18%, to an all-time high of 48 1/4, reportedly on takeover chatter. Among the Southern banks seen as possible bidders,
dropped 5/8 to 38 5/8,
dropped 1/8 to 52 1/16,
gained 3/8 to 54 1/2 and
gained 11/16 to 61 3/4.
traded up 3 1/2, or 13.9%, to an all-time high of 28 11/16 after telling
that it is in talks with investment bankers about raising additional capital.
rallied 13/16, or 11%, to 8 1/4 after deciding not to redeem its outstanding common stock purchase warrants. The company cited Wall Street's unfavorable reaction to the plan.
rose 1 5/8 to 50 7/8 after completing its $9 billion acquisition of
. Now it's goodbye
Salomon Smith Barney
Coming off a modest overnight decline in Hong Kong's
index, Chinese ADRs retreated after a recent upswing.
China Southern Airlines
bounced 3 1/4 to 98 3/4 after the
Federal Trade Commission
reached a pact with the company that allows it to complete its planned acquisition of South Africa's
lost 3/8 to a three-year low of 20 5/8 after
downgraded it to neutral from accumulate.
jumped 1 to 18 1/4 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
upgraded it to strong buy from outperform.
Johnstown America Industries
declined 1/4 to 10 3/8 after
members rejected a tentative settlement on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement at its
slid 3/4 to 22 1/8 after
cut it to hold from buy and lowered fourth-quarter, full-year 1997 and 1998 earnings estimates.
improved 3/8 to 50 1/8 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter boosted it to outperform from neutral.
moved up 3/16 to 12 3/16 after
Genesis Merchant Group Securities
initiated coverage at strong buy with a 12-month price target of 17 1/2.