NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose for a fourth day, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to a record, on optimism for low interest rates and rising profits.
Rockville, Md.-based EntreMed Inc. led the advance, soaring $39.75 to $51.8125 after touching $85. The National Cancer Institute said two of the company's drugs offer the best hope for treating cancer. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which owns a stake in EntreMed and is helping develop one of the drugs, surged $3.25 to $109.25.
The Dow industrials rose 45.59 to close at a record 9,192.66. Union Carbide Corp. led the gain, rising $3.3125 to $51.50 after a London newspaper reported that British Petroleum Co. prepared, then abandoned, plans to take over the U.S. chemical maker.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.07 to 1,122.07. The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.42 to 1,878.86.
Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 0.52 to 485.46; the Wilshire 5,000 index gained 10.25 to 10,692.74; the American Stock Exchange composite index lost 1.06 to 748.80; and the S&P; 400 midcap index added .05 to 378.17.
The Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 stocks in Maryland by market valuation, jumped 5.16 to 244.42, just below its April 21 record 244.60.
Declines in oil and banking shares -- Friday's biggest gainers -- prevented the market from rallying further yesterday.
About eight shares rose for every seven that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 551.7 million shares changed hands, below the 571 million that traded Friday.
Rallying European stock markets contributed to the U.S. gains. European Union leaders this past weekend chose the countries that will start their common currency in 1999, keeping the conversion on track. France's CAC 40 index rose 2.4 percent, Germany's DAX Xetra index rose 1.8 percent, Italy's Mib30 index rose 4.4 percent and Spain's IBEX 35 index rose 2.3 percent.
Mergers and acquisitions continued to drive stocks higher.
Echlin Inc. rallied $4 to $51.5625 yesterday after Dana Corp. agreed to buy the auto parts company for $4.17 billion in stock and assumed debt, topping a $3 billion hostile offer from SPX Corp. The offer equals a price of $55 a share. Dana fell $3.0625 to $56.125. SPX rose $1.0625 to $73.3125.
Union Texas Petroleum Holdings Inc. surged $8 to $28.50 after Atlantic Richfield Co. said it agreed to buy the Houston-based company for $3.3 billion in cash and assumed debt. Union Texas owns oil and gas wells and exploration sites where Arco already drills, allowing it to consolidate costs and save money. Arco fell $1.125 to $79.3125.
Takeover speculation failed to boost four bank stocks reported to be targets. PNC Bank Corp., Bank of New York Co., Mellon Bank Corp. and KeyCorp all declined after the Wall Street Journal reported that Fleet Financial Group Inc. may be interested in buying them.
PNC fell 62.5 cents to $61.375; Bank of New York fell $1.4375 to $59.5625; Mellon dropped 12.5 cents to $71; and Keycorp slid 81.25 cents to $39.5625. Fleet fell $2.6875 to $87.
Eastman Kodak Co., one of the 30 Dow industrials, rose $2.8125 to $76.1875. Lehman Brothers told clients to buy Kodak's stock.
Other companies developing cancer drugs also saw their shares rally.
Boston Life Sciences Inc. rose $5.4688 to $7.5938 after CNBC reported that it is working on a cancer-fighting drug similar to EntreMed's.
SuperGen Inc. rose $2.75 to $15.625 after it won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a generic version of Bristol-Meyers' pancreas and stomach cancer drug, Mutamycin.
Host Marriott Corp. rose 75 cents to $20.8125 in the wake of its report Friday that first-quarter profit leaped 52 percent on acquisitions and higher room prices at its upscale hotels.
Pub Date: 5/05/98