Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Financial Stocks Help Push Record Pace

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Financial Stocks Help Push Record Pace

Article excerpt

Financial shares spurred stocks further into record territory Wednesday lafter Travelers Group Inc. agreed to pay $4 billion for Aetna Life & Casualty Co.'s property and casualty insurance unit.

The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 27.46 to 5105.56, its 65th record this year.i A series of computer-guided "buy" orders late in the day accelerated the gain.

Drug shares rallied. Merck rose 1 3/8 to 60 7/8 after its board authorized the repurchase of another $3 billion in common stock.t Eli Lilly & Co. rose 1 1/8 to 99 3/4, Warner-Lambert Co. 1/2 to 89 1/4, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer 5/8 to 48 1/4.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose to a record 607.64, its fifth straight high.dgmss The gain was supported by Travelers, which climbed 3 3/4 to an all-time high of 58 7/8.

Helping financial stocks were falling bond yields, traders said. Falling yields lower the cost of raising the money needed to make loans and buy securities. The 30-year Treasury bond's yield slid to 6. …

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