Tobacco lawsuit settlement clips gains Oil, drug sectors lead heavy trading as fund managers dress portfolios

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday as a late-day decline in tobacco shares pared record gains after the announcement of a historic settlement of health-related lawsuits. Oil and drug companies gained.

Philip Morris Cos., RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. and Loews Corp. fell.

Still, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.45 to a record 7,796.51, led by AlliedSignal Inc. and United Technologies Corp. The 30-stock benchmark average has surged 22 percent since hitting its low for the year April 11.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 0.71 to 898.70, its 30th record of the year. Drug stocks surged for a second day as money managers, eyeing their end-of-quarter report cards due in two weeks, loaded up on this year's better-performing stocks.

Among the drug stocks, Eli Lilly & Co. rose $2.50 to $110.375; Pfizer gained $1.75 to $114.50; and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. rose $1.125 to $79.625. Expectations that sales of cholesterol drugs will spur profits in coming quarters helped shares for a second day. The five companies in the Standard & Poor's drug index were the second-best performing group yesterday.

Philip Morris, which has climbed 26.7 percent this year to a high of $47.50 yesterday, fell $2.25 to $45.25; RJR Nabisco slipped $1.125 to $34.75; and Loews lost $3.25 to $103.375.

The Nasdaq composite index, reflecting computer stocks, fell 0.04 to 1,447.10. Computer stocks, which rose early in the day, tumbled later.

Among broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 2.89 to 393.60; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, slipped 0.01 to 8,484.15; the American Stock Exchange composite index dropped 5.03 to 623.27; and the S&P; 400 midcap index lost 1.45 to 290.00.

Declining shares outnumbered advancers by about 15 to 11 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume of 653 million shares changed hands in the fourth-heaviest day ever. Average daily volume for the last three months is 486 million shares.

Major oil stocks rose on a Wall Street Journal report that Exxon Corp., like other big producers, has minimized the impact of falling oil prices by cutting costs and being picky about its development projects.

Exxon gained 62.5 cents to $63.50; Texaco Inc. rose $1.375 to $112.25; and Mobil Corp. gained $1.25 to $140. The six integrated international stocks in the S&P;'s oil index -- the others are Amoco Corp., Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Petroleum -- performed the best of the S&P;'s 90 groups.

Bullish comments from Abby Joseph Cohen, co-head of the investment policy committee at Goldman, Sachs & Co., helped stocks.

Cohen told the firm's sales force that the S&P; 500 could top 950 in the next 12 months. An equivalent gain in the Dow would put that benchmark at 8,250.

AlliedSignal rose $1.875 to $83.75 after touching an all-time high at $83.875. AlliedSignal, which makes aerospace and auto components, said yesterday at the Paris Air Show that it would buy Grimes Aerospace from Forstmann Little & Co. for an undisclosed amount.

Boeing Co. rose 37.5 cents to $56.875 after it won a $1 billion order for jetliners from British Airways PLC.

United Technologies rose $1.125 to $87.25 after it said at the air show that its Pratt & Whitney unit might develop engines for the Boeing 777 with General Electric Co.

Household International Inc., which makes consumer loans, rose $2.375 to $113.50 after selling 9.1 million shares late Thursday at $110.50 in a $1 billion offering.

Ikon Office Solutions Inc., the eighth-most-active stock in the country with 8 million shares traded, slumped $3.25 to $22.75 after the company said third-quarter profits will be 25 percent below analyst forecasts.

Pub Date: 6/21/97

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