Stocks closed sharply higher Friday in active but choppy trading as momentum of the week's rally overcame some profit taking and the market staged a late advance.
The Dow Jones industrial average, which closed down 20.30 Thursday after being up as much as 30 points during the session, rose 20.05 to close at 2830.69.Among broader market gauges, the New York Stock Exchange composite index added 1.36 to 196.10 and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 2.83 to 359.35. The price of an average share gained 23 cents.
Advances led declines 969-616 among the 2,023 issues crossing the NYSE tape. Big Board volume lightened considerably, totaling 187,840,000 shares, compared with the 292,190,000 traded Thursday.
The market was choppy Friday, with prices changing direction several times. Prices opened lower, turned higher, then hovered around Thursday's closing levels for much of the session.
But, in the end, the bulls won out again as a late buying spree pushed aside some attempts at profit taking after the market's 100-point runup over the first three days of the week.
"I thought the market looked good," said Ricky Harrington, director of investment policy and asset management at Marion Bass Securities in Charlotte, N.C.
"Volume shrank by over 100 million shares from Thursday, but all I think that shows is that there is a lack of selling pressure," he said.
"We saw that when the market was down 6 points at one point today and volume slowed, that showed that there were no sellers around. There was just no volume on the downside."
Harrington also said strength in Treasury bonds, which were up about 3/4 point in late trading, helped sustain stocks Friday. But he stressed that the momemtum that took the market up 100 points this week is really just feeding on itself at this point.
"The momentum has been so great that you expect the market to rally out of any weakness," he said.
On the trading floor, Unisys was the most active issue, soaring 11/8 to 4 as traders reported rumors the company may make some asset sales.
General Motors followed, up 17/8 to 371/4. Chrysler was third, off 1/4 to 113/4.
Among other blue chips, AT&T lost 1/8 to 34, but IBM rose 1 to 1291/2 and Boeing gained 11/4 to 521/4.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber was unchanged at 183/4 after being down sharply in early trading. The company said late Thursday it expected to report a loss for the first quarter and slashed its dividend from 45 cents to 10 cents a share.
Volume of NYSE-listed issues, including trades in stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 231,859,810 shares, compared with 354,782,730 shares traded Tuesday.
Prices gained in active trading on the American Stock Exchange.
The Amex Market Value index rose 2.22 to 336.88. Advances led declines 351-279 among the 850 issues traded. The price of an average share gained 7 cents. Composite volume totaled 16,429,025 shares vs. 25, 212,030 traded Thursday.
Western Digital led the Amex issues, plunging 17/8 to 41/2. The company posted a loss after taking a charge against second-quarter results and said it is trying to renegotiate bank credit facilities.
The National Association of Securities Dealers composite index rose 1.79 to 436.80, resuming its winning streak, which was broken Thursday after 11 straight sessions of gains.