Familiar Look for Market Leaders

By Currier, Chet | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

Familiar Look for Market Leaders


Currier, Chet, THE JOURNAL RECORD


NEW YORK -- Despite all the recent turbulence on the surface of the stock market, some main undercurrents of Wall Street's long bull market have kept flowing undiverted this year.

Approaching the end of the third quarter of 1997, technology and financial stocks occupy familiar places as year-to-date leaders of the market advance.

Both groups have turned in strong performances through most of the 1990s as prime beneficiaries of two of the bull market's primary themes -- the productivity and investment booms that have helped to re-energize the U.S. economy. From New Year's through Sept. 19, a tally of Dow Jones's global industry groups showed financial stocks with a 38 percent aggregate gain and technology stocks up almost 36 percent. That put both of those categories 10 to 15 percentage points or more ahead of the broad market indexes for stocks both domestically and worldwide. A technology group -- computer stocks excluding International Business Machines -- ranked No. 1 among the 96 industry groups, sporting a 72.6 percent gain. Computers including IBM also made the top 10, up almost 58 percent. Savings and loans, from the financial sector, ranked as the second strongest of all industry groups, up 68.56 percent. Securities brokers were No. 7 with a rise of more than 58 percent, and that was before Wednesday's announcement of Travelers' planned acquisition of Salomon Brothers that touched off a new wave of buying in brokerage issues. To many analysts, such persistent patterns help demonstrate that the fundamental issues confronting investors and stock-market analysts haven't really changed much at all this year. On the plus side, stocks are still riding the crest of strong earnings growth in corporate America, supported by an expanding economy with continued low inflation and declining interest rates. …

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