Strong gains lift indexes to records Auto, oil and drug companies are riding longest bull market


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks began the seventh year of history's longest bull market yesterday with a surge that pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to its first close above 6,000. Unexpectedly strong profits from an array of companies ignited the advance.

Auto and oil shares were spurred higher by surprisingly strong earnings from No. 3 carmaker Chrysler Corp. and the highest crude oil prices since the start of the Persian Gulf war in January 1991.

The Dow industrials jumped 40.62, to 6,010.00, their 28th record this year, paced by Texaco Inc. and General Motors Corp.

Broad market indexes rose to records as well, surpassing highs set a week ago. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.88, to a record 703.54. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 8.09, to a high of 1,256.36.

The Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks climbed 1.11, to 349.00; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq exchanges, spurted 30.30, to 6,896.58; the American Stock Exchange market value index dropped 1.08, to 579.33; and the S&P; midcap index gained 1.13, to 245.33.

Travelers Group Inc., Pfizer Inc., Gannett Co. and Novellus Systems Inc. joined Chrysler yesterday in topping analysts' profit expectations.

After the market closed, Intel Corp., the country's largest maker of semiconductors, disclosed quarterly earnings of $1.48 a share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.24. In after-hours trading Intel soared $6.625, to $114.25, pointing to still higher stock prices today.

Oil shares climbed amid Middle East tension as renewed clashes between Kurdish factions in northern Iraq rekindled concern that LTC a broader military conflict may erupt and threaten Gulf exports. Crude oil for November delivery jumped 96 cents, to $25.62 a barrel.

Texaco Inc. rose $3.625, to $101.75; Exxon Corp. gained $1.25, to $87.625; and Chevron Corp. rose $1.25, to $66.875.

Some 1,212 issues rose and 1,076 declined on the New York Stock Exchange, where 325 million shares traded. Volume was light because of the Columbus Day holiday. Average daily volume for the NYSE this year is 402 million shares.

Airline shares fell as oil prices rose, amid concern that higher jet fuel costs would cut into profits. AMR Corp. shares fell $2.625, to $82.75; UAL Corp. dropped $1.50, to $43.875; and Delta Air Lines Inc. slipped 75 cents, to $69.125.

Drug stocks rose, led by Pfizer Inc. The company reported third-quarter earnings rose to 80 cents a share, amid surging sales of newer drugs including the antibiotic Zithromax and the anti-depressant Zoloft. Analysts expected 79 cents. Pfizer shares rose $1.375, to $82.75; Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. rose 50 cents, to $36.75; and Merck & Co. gained $1.75, to $71.625. Merck is expected to report earnings later this week.

Novellus Systems, which makes equipment used in manufacturing computer chips, jumped $1.25, to $46.875 after reporting that third-quarter net income rose to $1.53 a share from $1.27 last year. Analysts expected $1.51.

The Morgan Stanley High Tech Index rose 1.59, to a record 367.39., led by Xilinx Inc. and Intel.

Bank and financial shares rose after Travelers Group Inc. beat Wall Street's earnings expectations.

Travelers gained $1.125, to $53. Citicorp gained 37.5 cents, to $93.375; and BankAmerica Corp. rose $1.125, to $88.

Among aerospace stocks, Boeing Co. rose 25 cents, to $98.125; United Technologies Corp. gained 87.5 cents, to $122.875; and Sundstrand Corp. gained 62.5 cents, to $41.

The government bond market was closed in the United States.

Albertson's Inc. stock tumbled after the supermarket and drugstore chain said third- and fourth-quarter earnings will probably be below forecasts because of lower sales and higher costs. Shares fell $6.50, to $36.125.

Dell Computer Corp. shares rose $4.25, to $84.875, after the computer maker was reiterated a "buy" by analysts Gene Ramirez and Ozarslan Tangun at Southwest Securities Inc.

Pub Date: 10/15/96

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