Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Monday, August 12, 1996

Dow closes session 23 higher

NEW YORK - Stocks turned mostly higher today in quiet trading, with the Dow Jones industrial average absorbing Friday's after-hours sell-off in Philip Morris Cos. Inc. shares.

The Philip Morris loses came on news of a damage award against another cigarette maker.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.67 today to close at 5,704.98. But without Philip Morris, the blue-chip measure would be up nearly 50 points.

Advancers led decliners by more than a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,270 up, 1,050 down and 845 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 312.15 million shares vs. 325.16 million in the previous session.

Broad-market indexes were mostly higher after spending most of the sluggish session with narrow losses.

The NYSE composite rose 1.69 to 355.13, and the S&P 500 index rose 3.67 to 665.77.

The Nasdaq composite fell 0.99 to 1,136.28, and the American Stock Exchange's market value index rose 1.72 to 552.52.

There was no new economic data to steer trading, leaving a potentially monumental verdict against Brown & Williamson Tobacco in a smoker liability suit as a leading factor for much of the session.

Following the verdict on Friday, shares of Philip Morris, the leading U.S. tobacco maker, fell $14.62-1/2. In today's trading, Philip Morris closed up $2.50 a share at $93.37-1/2.

Aside from the tobacco case, the most significant corporate developments were two utility mergers: a $3.8 billion acquisition of NorAm Energy by Houston Industries, and a $927 million combination between Delmarva Power & Light and Atlantic Energy. NorAm and Atlantic shares gained on the news.

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