Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Elusive Dow Jones Hold Up Celebration on Wall Street

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Elusive Dow Jones Hold Up Celebration on Wall Street

Article excerpt

They're ready to start the celebration here on Wall Street, but the guest of honor still hasn't shown up.

The missing party in question is the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, one of the few widely recognized measures of stock price trends that hasn't reached a record high this summer.

If it doesn't put in an appearance before long, some would-be revelers worry, the hors d'oeuvres might wilt and the punch might go flat.

Standard & Poor's 500-stock composite index, the benchmark against which most professional investors gauge their results, surpassed its high from the summer of 1987 a couple of weeks ago.

The separate indicators for the New York and American Stock Exchanges and the over-the-counter market all have lately topped their pre-crash peaks. So have measures of mutual-fund performance, which matter especially to the great majority of individual investors.

So, too, has the Dow's sister average that tracks transportation stocks.

But official certification that the stock market has fully recovered from the crash that occurred in August, September and October of '87 has been left to await a new high in the Dow.

As close as it came last Thursday and Friday, the average's Aug. 25, 1987 close of 2,722.42 still stood as the record when the weekend arrived. The average fell 28.64 points Friday to finish the week at 2,683.99.

By what right has this stubborn creature held up the festivities? Well, analysts say, it has the privileges of seniority if nothing else.

``The Dow Jones industrial average is the granddaddy of all the market indices,'' noted analysts at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. in a recent commentary on the situation.

``Developed at the end of the last century, it was designed to be easy to calculate in those days of inkwells and green eyeshades. …

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