NEW YORK - Blue-chip stocks eked out a gain at the close today after a session of tremendous volatility, as Wall Street grew nervous about the continued rise in bond interest rates.
Dow up 18.90
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.90 points to close at 11,026.15, standing just below Friday's record finish of 11,031.59. The Dow slid into the minus column in late afternoon, wiping a gain of nearly 100 points before steadying in the final half hour.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 15.31 to 1,355.61, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 40.29 to 2,566.68. Advancers beat decliners by a 4-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,708 up, 1,279 down and 557 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 843.68 million shares vs. 767.35 million yesterday. The NYSE composite rose 6.43 to 645.77, and the American Stock Exchange composite gained 2.21 to 789.29. The Russell 2000 index rose 4.96 to 446.81.
The yield on the benchmark 30-year U.S. Treasury bond fell 18/32 point, or $5.63 per $1,000 security, to 91 23/32, pushing yields up to 5.84 percent in late trading, up from yesterday's close of 5.79 percent.
The stock and bond markets for the most part ignored a government report that nation's productivity, a key gauge of future prosperity, shot up at an annual rate of 4 percent in the first three months of this year. Tom Galvin, market strategist at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities, said interest rate concerns are likely to dog the market until the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next Tuesday, when central bankers will decide whether the threat of rising inflation is sufficient to warrant an increase in interest rates.