Early bird tickets for Baltimore’s BEST party on sale now!

Stocks rise Dow leaps 94 points to 9,320; Blue-chip index within 54 points of record high; Wall Street


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose yesterday, as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Gap Inc. and other retailers gained on optimism that stronger-than-expected holiday sales will boost earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 94.23, or 1 percent, to 9,320.98, its eighth straight advance, to within 54 points of its Nov. 23 record.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 16.32, or 1.3 percent, to a record 1,241.81, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.47, to 2,181.77, its fifth record in seven days.

The Russell 2,000 index of small-cap stocks rose 2.13, to 410.41; the Wilshire 5,000 index jumped 123.96, to 11,315.05, another record; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 5.17, to 670.75; and the S&P; 400 midcap index added 1.37, to 373.39.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks gained 0.61, to 191.93.

Rising stocks led decliners by a 17-to-13 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange. More than 586 million shares changed hands, well below the three-month daily average of 728 million.

AT&T; Corp. rose $3.625, to $78.625, contributing 15 points to the Dow average's gain. MCI Worldcom Inc. jumped $2.3125, to $74.25.

BellSouth Inc. rose $2.25, to $48.50, and Ameritech Corp. gained $2, to $63, both records for the regional phone companies.

Wal-Mart gained $2.0625, to $81.9375;, Dayton Hudson Corp. rose $2.6875, to $52.50; Costco Cos. jumped $4.625, to $74.875; Kmart Corp. gained $1, to $14.8125; and Federated Department Stores Inc. added $2.0625, to $43.8125.

Among specialty retailers, Gap climbed $5.125, to $60.6875; AnnTaylor Stores Corp. gained $2, to $37.25; and Limited Inc. rose $2.25, to $29.50.

Johnson & Johnson rose $3.1875, to $83.75, accounting for 13 points of the Dow average's gain. The Dow, which is laden with drug and industrial companies, has outperformed the computer-dominated Nasdaq composite for the past week.

Dell Computer Corp., up 255 percent this year, fell 18.75 cents, to $74.5625; Microsoft Corp., 117 percent higher in 1998, lost $1.875, to $140.50; and Cisco Systems Inc., up 152 percent, dropped 68.75 cents, to $93.50.

Internet stocks were mixed after Monday's surge. Bookseller Amazon.com Inc. lost $19.625, to $332.3125; No. 1 online service America Online Inc. fell $2.625, to $154.625; and Charles Schwab Corp., the leading online brokerage, dropped $4.1875, to $59.4375.

Active Apparel Group Inc. soared $7.50, to $19, adding to Monday's more than ninefold surge after the sportswear designer and marketer said it plans to sell its products on the Internet.

National Discount Brokers Group Inc. soared $17.50, to $31.50, after the broker and market maker said its second-quarter earnings more than doubled. SkyMall Inc., the in-flight shopping company that surged Monday, rose $5.1875, to $40.75.

ValueVision International Inc. gained $5.125, to $11.375, and was the most active stock in U.S. trading, with nearly 30 million shares changing hands. The company, which operates a home-shopping television network and Internet site, said holiday season TV sales surged 70 percent and sales at its World Wide Web site before Christmas increased even faster.

Inktomi Corp. slumped $10.375, to $127, and Cnet Inc. fell $6.0625, to $52.50, after Intel Corp. disclosed plans to cut its stakes in the companies. Inktomi runs a popular Internet search engine and makes software to reduce Internet congestion, while Cnet produces technology news Web sites and television shows.

Barnes & Noble Inc. rose $4, to $44.0625. Analyst Bruce Missett at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. reiterated his "outperform" rating on the largest U.S. book retailer.

Halliburton, the No. 1 oil field services company, fell $2.5625, to $30.375, after announcing 2,750 job cuts and warning that profit won't meet forecasts. Halter Marine Group Inc., which makes offshore drilling rigs and ships, dropped 87.5 cents, to $4.75, after saying it probably won't meet its revenue goal of $1 billion by fiscal 2000.

Pub Date: 12/30/98

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad