NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed in light trading yesterday amid optimism that steady interest rates will bolster corporate earnings in coming months. The Standard & Poor's 500 index set its third record of the week.
A report that orders to factories for durable goods in April fell more than expected was welcomed by stock investors because it indicated that the economy isn't growing fast enough to spark inflation.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.74 to 5,762.86, as gains Coca-Cola Co., Merck & Co. and Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. offset declines in Boeing Co., International Paper Co. and General Motors Corp.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.51 to 678.51, exceeding its Wednesday record by 0.09 points, led by drug shares. The Nasdaq composite index drifted down 0.85 point from Thursday's high to close at 1,247.80.
The Russell 2,000 index, a measure of small and mid-size companies, rose 0.20 to 364.59; the S&P; midcap index fell 0.05 to 241.88; the American Stock Exchange market value index rose 1.27 to 613.95; and the Wilshire 5,000 index, tracking stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq stock market, rose 20.87 to 6,758.69.
Trading was light in advance of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. About 329 million shares changed hands, well below the year-to-date average of 423 million. Advancing and declining stocks were about evenly matched on the New York Stock Exchange, 1,186 to 1,084.
For the week, the Dow industrials rose 1.33 percent from the previous Friday's close. On Wednesday, the benchmark 30-stock average reached an all-time high of 5,778.00. The S&P; 500 index, up 1.44 percent from last Friday, also set records Monday and Wednesday. The Nasdaq, up 0.48 percent for the week, reached highs Monday and Thursday.
Stocks benefited from a flow of $3.3 billion into equity mutual funds last week, according to AMG Data Services. That was half the $6.6 billion spent on such funds last week, but still three times the figure in the same week last year.
Six of the 10 biggest holdings in Fidelity Magellan Fund fell yesterday, a day after Jeffrey N. Vinik resigned as manager of the nation's biggest mutual fund. Some investors are concerned that the new manager, Robert Stansky, will rearrange Magellan's portfolio when he takes over in June.
Chrysler Corp. fell $1 to $66.625; General Motors Corp. lost 87.5 cents to $55.25; Digital Equipment Corp. fell 37.5 cents to 52.25; Deere & Co. fell 25 cents to $41.375; CSX Corp. fell 64.0625 cents to $50.609375 and Exxon Corp. lost 87.5 cents to $87.
Shares of Pepsico Inc. fell 25 cents to $67.625 on news that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible anti-competitive practices in the salty snack-foods industry, a market controlled by Pepsi's Frito-Lay Inc. unit.
Pub Date: 5/25/96