83.70 gain caps Dow's best 3 days since Feb. Oil drilling companies lead rise after reports suggest slowing economy


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose yesterday as a report on April manufacturing suggested that the economy may be slowing enough to let the Federal Reserve put off raising interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83.70 to 9,147.07, completing its best three days since early February.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9.25 to 1,121.00 as Exxon Corp. jumped $2.5625 to a record $75.625, and BankAmerica Corp. climbed $2.6875 to $88.0625. The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.03 to 1,873.44.

Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small-capitalization stocks gained 2.05 to 484.94; the Wilshire 5,000 index added 72.88 to 10,682.49; the American Stock Exchange composite index climbed 3.34 to 749.86; and the S&P; 400 midcap index rose 2.73 to 378.12.

The Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 stocks in Maryland by market valuation, rose 0.56 to 239.26.

About nine stocks rose for every five that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. About 581 million shares changed hands on the Big Board, down from 696 million yesterday.

For the week, the Dow rose 82.45 points, or 0.9 percent. The S&P; 500 gained 1.2 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.2 percent.

Oil drilling, production and services shares led the market higher as the price of crude oil jumped 74 cents to $16.13 a barrel, its biggest gain in five weeks. Chevron Corp. rose $3.6875 to $86.375; Texaco Inc. gained $1.75 to $63.375; and Mobil Corp. rallied $3.4375 to $82.5625.

Global Marine Inc., a drilling services firm, rose $1.3125 to $24.6875 after Business Week reported that analyst Kevin Simpson of Merrill Lynch & Co. expects the stock to rise to the mid-$30s in the next 12 to 18 months.

Bank shares rose on speculation that mergers and acquisitions will continue to drive prices higher. Fleet Financial Group Inc. rose $3.3125 to $89.6875; BankBoston Corp. jumped $2.9375 to BTC $110.875; J. P. Morgan & Co. rose $3.875 to $135.125; and Citicorp rallied $2.8125 to $153.3125.

Mellon Bank Corp. fell 87.5 cents to $71.125 after analysts who met with Bank of New York Co. Chairman Thomas Renyi said the bank may drop its $22.4 billion bid for Mellon. Bank of New York shares rose $1.9375 to $61.

Eli Lilly & Co. led a slide in drug stocks after Richard Vietor at Merrill Lynch & Co. cut his investment recommendation on the stock to "accumulate" from "buy." Lilly fell $3.25 to $66.3125; Merck & Co. fell $4.1875 to $116.3125; American Home Products Corp. fell 93.75 cents to $92.1875; and Pfizer Inc. slipped $1.4375 to $112.375.

Boeing Co., a member of the Dow industrials, rose $1.6875 to $51.75 on the strength of the news after markets closed Thursday that the company won a contract potentially worth $5.2 billion to develop a continental-missile defense system.

Heller Financial Inc. rose $3 to $30 in its first day of trading, after the commercial finance company's $1.04 billion initial stock sale, the largest U.S. initial public offering in almost two years.

Pub Date: 5/02/98

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