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Stocks scamper through 6,800 Dow index rises 67 points, passing third 100-point milestone in 11 days

NEW YORK — NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks surged to more records yesterday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average above 6,800 for the first time, as investors cheered another spate of better-than-expected earnings reports.

"Corporate profits are good, and clearly show the economy had a good quarter," in the three months ended Dec. 31, said Vincent Farrell, a partner at Spears Benzak Salomon & Farrell, which oversees $5 billion.

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The 30-stock Dow average jumped 67.73 to 6,833.10, logging its third 100-point milestone in 11 days. DuPont Co. led the charge after Goldman, Sachs & Co. boosted its investment opinion on the chemicals and oil company, citing a stronger economy and higher energy prices than earlier anticipated. DuPont shares rose $2.875 to a record $111.625.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.42 to a record 776.17, led by its biggest stock, General Electric Co. The Nasdaq composite index gained 8.58 to a record 1,349.04.

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On the broader market, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks gained .96 to 367.88; the Wilshire 5,000 index spurted 21.18 to 7,292.16; the American Stock Exchange composite index climbed 2.59 to 589.95; and the S&P; mid-cap index added 1.22 to 264.74. All were records.

The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was unchanged at 6.83 percent yesterday.

Ascend Communications Inc., a maker of computer network equipment, said profits jumped, giving investors yet more hope that corporate America can live up to analysts' forecasts for 1997. Better-than-expected profit reports from J. P. Morgan & Co. and Eastman Kodak Co. earlier this week aided in pushing the Dow industrials to four highs in five sessions.

For the five-day span, the Dow industrials rose 2 percent. The S&P; 500 index rose 2.2 percent, and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.3 percent.

Rising shares outnumbered those that declined by a margin of about 15 to 9 on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading of 532 million shares topped the average for the past three months on the NYSE by 81 million.

After the close of trading, Microsoft Corp. said it earned more than was forecast for its second quarter, but said its profit growth would start to slip in June. Its shares rose $1.125 to $87.125, a record, before the report was released.

Communications equipment stocks rose after Ascend said it earned 32 cents a share, topping by 1 cent the average forecast of analysts in a Zacks Investment Research poll. Ascend's undelivered orders were stronger than expected, suggesting that last quarter's strength will continue in 1997. Its shares jumped $6.125 to $75.

Two years ago yesterday, the stock was at $6.25, adjusted for three splits.

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Ascend's $8.8 billion market capitalization is $176 million greater than that of Morgan Stanley Group Inc., which brought the company public in May 1994.

Another network equipment maker, Cascade Communications Corp., jumped 48.125 to $60. No. 1 network builder Cisco Systems Inc. gained $2.25 to $72.625. Modem maker U.S. Robotics Corp. gained $4.50 to $71.625.

Shares of Intel Corp. rose $1.6875 to $144.0625.

Electronics For Imaging Inc., a maker of connection equipment for digital color printing, surged after the company surpassed projections for the fourth quarter. Shares rose $2.50 to $91.

Also topping forecasts was Fore Systems Inc., up $2.25 to $32.375. Cyrix Corp. surged $3.25 to $24.625 after saying it lost 23 cents a share, 8 cents less than expected.

Mellon Bank Corp. earnings came in above forecasts, sending its shares up 62 1/2 cents to $74.125.

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On the downside, Uniphase Corp. crumbled $5.25 to $40.75 after its sales in the second quarter fell short of first-quarter levels.

Pub Date: 1/18/97


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