Dow leaps 93 points Nasdaq hits 2,000; Apple shares jump on earnings surprise; Kodak up $4.50 more


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose yesterday in a session of milestones, as the Nasdaq composite index crossed 2,000 and the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 9,300.

Apple Computer Inc., SBC Communications Inc. and other companies reporting better-than-expected profits led the gains.

The Dow industrials climbed 93.72 to a record 9,328.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 9.18 to a record 1,183.99. The Nasdaq, packed with computer industry shares, climbed 6.02 to 2,000.56, a seventh straight high.

The S&P; returned an average of 30 percent from 1995 to 1997. So far in 1998, the large-stock barometer is up 23 percent with dividends reinvested.

The Nasdaq is 28 percent higher, and up nearly 17 percent in just a month.

Among other broad indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 1.66 to 463.64; the Wilshire 5,000 index jumped 2.09 to a record 11,086.69; the American Stock Exchange composite index gained 1.42 to 731.81; and the S&P; 400 midcap index added 2.04 to 374.23.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 Maryland stocks by market valuation, gained 1.25 to 234.59.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by a 17-to-12 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, in trading of 678 million shares.

Apple Computer, which has been struggling to survive, rose $3.0625 to $37.50 after reporting higher earnings for a third straight quarter, trouncing forecasts. Profit was 50 cents a diluted share, 17 cents higher than the average estimate.

Eastman Kodak Co. which blind-sided analysts Wednesday with better-than-expected earnings, led the Dow's advance, soaring $4.50 to $87. The world's largest photography company has rallied 18 percent in two days.

Microsoft Corp. closed unchanged at $117.375. The No. 1

personal computer software company reported earnings of 50 cents a diluted share after the session ended, 2 cents above expectations.

Microsoft's archrival, Sun Microsystems Inc., also beat the average forecast by 2 cents a share, in a report released after exchanges closed. Sun, which makes machines that run computer networks, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 21 percent, buoyed by stronger sales.

Telephone shares gained after SBC, formerly Southwestern Bell Corp., said earnings rose 20 percent, topping analysts' estimates. SBC gained $1.125 to $40.75; Ameritech Corp. climbed $2 to $49.75; and Bell Atlantic Corp. rose 43.75 cents to $45.25.

Tellabs Inc., which makes equipment to transmit data, video and voice signals, jumped $6.0625 to $84.75 after reporting earnings of 63 cents a share, beating the 42- cent average forecast.

Drug stocks, viewed as consistent growers and havens, led the S&P; 500's advance. Merck & Co. rallied $2 to $138.625; Pfizer Inc. gained $1.8125 to $117; and Schering-Plough Corp. climbed $2.875 to $105.50.

Walt Disney Co. fell 6.25 cents to $39.3125 after Jill Krutick at Salomon Smith Barney lowered her investment opinion on the entertainment company.

Coca-Cola Co. fell 6.25 cents to $87.1875. The world's largest soda company reported earnings that met forecasts, but Lehman Brothers analyst Michael Branca lowered his rating to outperform from buy because the stock is expensive, he said. The stock has risen 62 percent since Oct. 27.

AMR, American Airlines' parent, fell for a second day, down $5 to $78.50, after reporting profit of $2.30 a diluted share, better than analysts expected. Still, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. analyst James Higgins downgraded the stock amid concern that investors will turn against it.

Delta Air Lines Inc. fell $1.625 to $135.50 after reporting that its earnings rose 20 percent. That topped expectations, but nTC disappointed investors who had hoped that Delta would beat even the most optimistic forecast.

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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