Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Thursday, March 18, 1999

‘Missed it by that much!’
--Maxwell Smart, secret agent


NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average cracked 10,000 six times today but pulled back each time, finishing a nail-biting session less than three points below the mark.

The blue-chip index ended at a record close of 9,997.62, up 118.21 points for the day. It was the second day this week that the Dow crossed 10,000 but failed to hold its gains. On Tuesday, the index briefly traded as high as 10,001.78 but slipped back and closed with a loss. Broad market indexes made substantial gains as well today, indicating a broader and more durable advance in the market.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 18.73 to a record 1,316.55, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 33.99 to 2,462.96.

Advancers beat decliners by a 9-to-8 margin on the NYSE, with 1,559 up, 1,353 down and 618 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 831.97 million shares vs. 753.60 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite index rose 6.96 to 617.61 but the American Stock Exchange composite index declined 0.97 to 714.86. The Russell 2000 index gained 1.12 to 399.55.

The immediate spark for today's advance was a Labor Department report this morning that consumer prices rose a tiny 0.1 percent last month. That was a confirmation that inflation remains in check and a signal that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise rates.

The price report boosted prices in the bond market, where the 30-year Treasury bond was up 1/4 point, or $2.50 per $1,000 bond, and its yield, which moves opposite from its price, fell to 5.49 percent from 5.5 percent yesterday.

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