Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Friday, August 20, 1999

Dow soars 137

NEW YORK -- Blue-chip stocks ended the week with a solid rally even as the prospect of an increase in interest rates next Tuesday kept many investors out of the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 136.77 to close at 11,100.61. The Dow gained 126.96 points for the week, or 1.2 percent.

Broader stock indicators were also higher today, although their gains were more modest. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 13.02 to 1,336.61, and the Nasdaq composite index rose rose 26.90 to 2,648.33.

Advancers beat decliners by a 7-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,713 up, 1,197 down and 589 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 663.73 million shares vs. 677.37 yesterday. The NYSE composite index rose 5.73 to 626.09, and the American Stock Exchange composite index gained 2.72 to 787.79. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1.61 to 434.38.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 3/4, or $7.50 per $1,000 face amount, to a price of 101 29/32. Its yield fell 5 basis points to 5.98 percent, matching a four-week low reached Wednesday. For the week bonds rose about 15/8, the first weekly advance since mid-July.

Stock investors today gravitated toward a handful of blue-chip stocks, seeking safe bets in case interest rates continue to rise, analysts said. The Federal Reserve's policy-making committee will meet next Tuesday, and most economists expect a quarter-percentage point increase in short-term interest rates. An increase on Tuesday would be the Fed's second this year as the central bank works to prevent a resurgence of inflation. There are fears the Fed also might see a need for a third rate increase later this year.

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