Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Blue Chips Climb Back

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Blue Chips Climb Back

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Blue chip stocks bailed out of deeply negative territory on Friday to finish fractionally higher, while the broad market closed mixed, one day after Wall Street's worst stumble in six months.

Many traders dismissed the market's behavior as the result of expiring options and futures contracts, which often injects volatility into prices and inflates the volume of trading.

If anything, they said, the so-called "double witching" expirations had a positive effect on stock prices. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether the Dow Jones average's dramatic 81-point drop on Thursday will resume next week, further eroding gains from a prolonged bull market.

The Dow average rallied from a 29-point loss at midday to finish up 0.69 at 4,341.33. But the Dow transportation and utility indexes, which many market participants view as key barometers, both lost ground. The transports fell 13.28, or 0.81 percent, to 1,626.66, while the utilities edged 0.59 lower, or 0.30 percent, to 195.49.

The market started lower at the open in continuation of Thursday's sell-off. But the selling quieted in the afternoon, and technology issues, a long-term market leader, improved.

Eugene Peroni, director of technical research at Janney Montgomery Scott Inc. in Philadelphia, said Thursday and Friday were temporary setbacks.

"A lot of stocks are well above even their normal short-term trends, and I think it's going to persist a little bit, but there is some support at 4,310" on the Dow average, Peroni said.

The yield on the 30-year bond, which had been falling steadily for weeks om a bond market rally that's helped support stocks, reversed on Thursday. The bond price fell another point Friday, pushing the yield up to 6.91 percent. Some stock strategists viewed that change with concern.

"The turn in the bond market was the signal that the party was over, or at least was about to be over, or at least that they're flickering the lights," said A. …

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