NEW YORK -- Stocks climbed yesterday for a third time this week, helped by lower Treasury bond yields and a broad rally in financial and retail issues.
Bank stocks such as PNC Bank Corp., Comerica Inc. and Barnett Banks Inc., and brokerages including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley Group Inc. paced the advance.
In the broader market, the Standard & Poor's 500 index, representing three-quarters of the value of all U.S. stocks, climbed 2.93 to 665.21, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 1.04 to 1,133.65, as U.S. Robotics Corp. slumped 9 percent.
The Russell 2,000 index of small-company shares grew 1.23 to 328.91; the Wilshire 5,000 index of the biggest companies on the New York and American stock exchanges and the Nasdaq stock market rose 20.75 to 6,503.14; the S&P; midcap index climbed 0.68 to 231.11; and the American Stock Exchange market value index jumped 3.61 to 556.14.
Traders said yesterday's expiration of options on individual stocks and on stock index futures had little impact on trading.
About 337 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, where advancing issues outnumbered declining stock by about 15 to 7.
Treasury bond prices advanced for the first time in a week, lending a hand to stocks. Yields on benchmark 30-year bonds fell to 6.76 percent from 6.80 percent Thursday, still up from 6.69 percent a week ago. Optimism spread that the economy's growth will flag just enough to keep inflation at bay in coming months.
Falling yields pushed up financial stocks. Banks' and brokerages' profits improve as the cost of capital declines.
PNC jumped $1.25 to $31.875;, Comerica surged $1.375 to $50; Barnett vaulted $1.50 to $65.125; First Bank System Inc. climbed $1.125 to $62.75; and Fifth Third Bancorp rose $1.75 to $55.25.
Among stockbrokers and investment banks, Merrill Lynch climbed $1.375 to $64.125; Travelers Group Inc., parent of Smith Barney Inc., rose $1 to $45.625; Charles Schwab Corp. advanced $1.375 to $26.875; and Morgan Stanley gained $1.125 to $51.
Companies that make loans to consumers saw large gains. Household International Inc. spurted $1.50 to $81 and Beneficial Corp. climbed $2 to $56.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gained for a third day, rising 62.5 cents to $27.75; Dayton-Hudson Corp. advanced 62.5 cents to $35.625; and Nordstrom Inc. gained 81.25 cents to $38.0625. May Department Stores Co., ahead 87.5 cents to $45, authorized the repurchase of as much as $600 million of its own stock.
Oil stocks soared as crude oil futures jumped to the highest price in almost three months on optimism that demand is robust enough -- and stockpiles lean enough -- to absorb the limited amounts of Iraqi oil expected to reach markets next month.
Royal Dutch Petroleum climbed $2.25 to $152.875; Mobil Corp. rose $1.875 to $113.625; Exxon Corp. jumped $1.625 to $82.375; and Texaco Inc. rose $1.50 to $87.75.
Hewlett-Packard jumped $2 to $42, after a $3.50 drop Thursday despite its announcement late Thursday of a drop in third-quarter net income to 40 cents a share from 55 cents last year. Excluding a one-time charge, H-P's earnings matched analyst estimates, and the shares got a boost when Goldman, Sachs & Co. raised its earnings estimates for fiscal 1996 and 1997.
Cisco Systems Inc., a maker of computer networking equipment that also released earnings after the market closed yesterday, said fiscal-fourth-quarter profit rose to 41 cents a share from 24 cents last year, a penny better than expectations. Cisco fell $1.75 to $56.
Pub Date: 8/17/96