NEW YORK -- Blue-chip stocks rose slightly yesterday amid a rally in bonds and signs of lower interest rates in Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average inched up 1.08, to 3,187.10.
The broader market averages outstripped the Dow, steered by strong third-quarter earnings.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.19, to 415.67, and the NASDAQ Composite gained 4.46, to 597.16. On the New York Stock Exchange, 772 stocks fell in price and 720 rose.
Volume was active for the fifth straight session, with 221 million shares traded on the NYSE.
"The Dow doesn't represent the broader market," said Thomas Gallagher, managing director in charge of capital commitment at Oppenheimer & Co. "Over-the-counter stocks are up [again], and there are more new highs than new lows."
Treasury bond prices broke a four-session losing streak after several European countries, including Germany, cut money-market interest rates.
Bonds got a further boost after the Treasury released details of next week's auction. The auction announcement, in line with expectations, eased concerns about a swelling federal budget deficit.
Stocks have withstood the recent weakness in bonds because investors are adopting the view that Gov. Bill Clinton's programs to revive the economy, if he is elected president, would eventually produce rising corporate profits.
That view was reinforced by robust earnings from several companies yesterday. Strong earnings boosted shares of MCI Communications, Komag, Advanta, Landmark Graphics, Informix, State of the Art and Telematics International.
Still, earnings disappointments sank a slew of companies, including Schlumberger, United Technologies, Chambers Development, Jenny Craig and Proteon.
"If the earnings are good, they react favorably; if they're poor, they take no prisoners," said Thomas Callahan, senior vice president of equities at Yamaichi International (America). "People are focusing less on the whole market than on individual stocks."