Stocks posted slim gains Friday after some early weakness, but the buying was hesitant with the market holding such big gains before a crush of company profit reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average recovered from an early 60-point slide and closed 15.96 higher at 9,105.74, slightly more than 100 points from May 13's peak of 9,211.84.The blue-chip measure rose 80.48 for the week, bringing this year's gain to nearly 1,200 points, or 15.1 percent.
Most broad-market indexes also turned higher, with the Nasdaq composite setting a new high for the third straight day. But declining issues outnumbered advancers overall.
Stocks opened higher amid news that inflation remained tame in June but quickly turned lower amid concerns that the impending flood of company profit reports might reveal that the big rebound of recent weeks was too optimistic.
Analysts said investors were also hesitant about making big bets before Sunday's elections in Japan.
Recent polls have revealed waning support for the current leadership, threatening to derail tax proposals seen as crucial to jump starting the sickly Japanese and Asian economies. In a jittery preface to Sunday's election, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average fell 2.2 percent.
Second-quarter reporting season began this week with strong showings from big names such as General Electric and Alcoa, but the mood soured on Thursday when DuPont warned that its latest results won't meet Wall Street forecasts.
"The market rallied recently in hopes that maybe the negative earnings news was behind us, but DuPont reminded us yesterday that negative news still exists," said A. Marshall Acuff Jr., equity strategist at Salomon Smith Barney.
DuPont's fell 2 to 68 1/8 as the Dow's biggest decliner after tumbling 7 points on Thursday. The Dow's strongest components on Friday were American Express, up 2 1/2 to 116 13/16; Procter & Gamble, up 2 1/16 to 92 7/16; IBM, up 1 7/16 to 118 1/2; and J.P. Morgan, up 1 7/16 to 125 15/16.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 5.77 to 1,164.33, about 2 points below Wednesday's closing record of 1,166.38. For the year, the S&P 500 is up 20.0 percent.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 3.22 to a record 1,943.04, extending 1998's gain to 23.7 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where composite volume totaled 689.50 million shares, down sharply from 794.86 million on Thursday.
The NYSE composite index rose 1.95 to 592.18.