Stock prices closed slightly higher Friday in active trading after a last-minute spurt of buying pushed the Dow to its highest level since last October's collapse for the third time this week.
The Dow Jones industrial average, which jumped 43.92 Thursday, rose 2.31 to close at 2183.50. For the week, the 30-stock index rose 50.32 points.Advances led declines 749-680 among the 1,954 issues crossing the New York Stock Exchange tape. Volume totaled 195,410,000 shares, compared with 189,580,000 traded Thursday.
"After Thursday's run, most of this session was spent defending the gains," said Sid Dorr, vice president of block trading at Robinson-Humphrey Co. in Atlanta. "I think the market did a credible job."
For the week, Dorr said the market "behaved a lot better than I expected. There was some nervousness about the anniversary and the options' expiration."
Dorr said the market has been steadily extending the upper end of its trading range and would probably approach 2200 in the current trend, which he said was being fueled by the rash of takeover activity.
Broad-market indexes also advanced. The NYSE composite index rose 0.41 to close at 159.42. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 0.78 to 283.66. The price of an average share gained 8 cents.
Before the market opened, the government said the Consumer Price Index for September rose 0.3 percent, compared with 0.4 percent increases in both July and August. The report was in line with market expectations.
"It's a relaxed market right now," said Trude Latimer, market analyst with Josephthal & Co., in New York.
Latimer said a large part of the previous session's 44-point surge was related to Friday's expiration of October stock-index futures.
"Some traders are beginning to nail some profits, but there is no urgency here," Latimer said. "Traders are doing their own thing. They have time to make sound judgments."
In light of the market's new recovery high set Thursday, Latimer said "a modest correction is not that far away."
"One positive development is that in previous markets an earnings report on one stock would impact on similar issues," Latimer said. "But now earnings news is isolated to that one company."
On the trading floor, RJR Nabisco was the most active issue, off 1/2 to 763/4.
Kraft followed, up 13/4 to 92. AT&T was third, up 1/8 to 275/8.
IBM was off 1/2 to 1243/8.
Among other blue chips, American Express was off 5/8 to 291/8, Eastman Kodak was off 1/2 to 491/4 and General Electric was off 1/8 to 447/8.
In the technology sector, Digital Equipment was off 41/8 to 87 on disappointing third-quarter earnings released late Thursday. Cray Research was off 3/4 to 715/8 and Texas Instruments was off 13/8 to 405/8.
Volume of NYSE-listed issues, including trades in stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 228,122,240 shares, compared with 221,430,010 in the previous session.
Prices closed narrowly mixed in slow trading on the American Stock Exchange.
The Amex market value index fell 0.30 to close at 306.07. The price of an average share lost 2 cents. Advances led declines 280-276 among the 848 issues traded. Composite volume totaled 10,989,885 shares, compared with 10,494,500 Thursday.