Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Computer, Airline Stocks Lead Market to Modest Gain

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Computer, Airline Stocks Lead Market to Modest Gain

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks posted modest gains in a sedate session on Friday, held back by a mixed reading on wholesale inflation that stirred fresh worries that interest rates would rise.

Computer and airline stocks were notable gainers.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 6.39 to 3,939.07, after hovering close to unchanged for the entire session. The blue chip average remains within sight of its alltime high of 3,978.36, made on Jan. 31, 1994.

"The stock market still seems to be knocking at the door of some records that were made about a year ago," said Thomas McManus, equity strategist at Morgan Stanley Co.

"What's different this time is that the leadership is significantly different."

A year ago, blue chip and industrial names were the star performers. Now, consumer nondurable stocks, utilities and financial stocks are leading the way higher, as investors who expect an economic downturn get more defensive, McManus said.

"When Coca Cola and Philip Morris and Procter Gamble are the stocks that are pushing the market to a new high, that's not necessarily the sign of a healthy market" or economy, he said.

Advancing issues led decliners by about 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume was light at 295.56 million shares as of 4 p.m., down from 325.55 million on Thursday.

Stocks were held back by bond prices, which headed lower at the open after the Labor Department said prices paid by manufacturers rose a slight 0.3 percent in January, less than analysts had expected. Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, prices rose an even more moderate 0.2 percent.

But prices for intermediate and crude goods rose a full percentage point. And excluding energy and food, they were up 3 percentage points.

Bond investors concluded that inflation may still be high enough to warrant further interest rate tightenings by the Federal Reserve. …

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