Most stocks fell Friday, but blue-chip shares overcame an early sell-off fueled by a profit warning from Coca-Cola and the near-collapse of a major hedge fund.
The Dow Jones industrial average erased an early 112-point loss and finished 26.78 higher at 8,028.77, bringing the week's gain to 133.11.Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a small margin on the broad market, but the strength in the blue-chip group lifted most popular indexes into positive territory.
Combined with a 152-point plunge a day earlier, Friday's early slide briefly wiped out the remainder of Wednesday's 257-point surge.
But with a cut in lending rates by the Federal Reserve - the main spark behind Wednesday's rally - still considered a lock next week, investors used Friday's weak open as a buying opportunity.
Even before Coca-Cola stepped forward early Friday to warn that profits for the second half of 1998 had been stung by the financial trouble overseas, Wall Street was bracing for a rough day as news of the near-collapse of Long-Term Capital Management roiled foreign markets.
Late Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York orchestrated a $3.5 billion bailout of the fund amid worries its failure would jeopardize the nation's financial system. The fund, which manages investments for the wealthy, had invested more than $90 billion in complex bets on financial markets around the world.
Also weighing on the market was Thursday's disclosure by United Bank of Switzerland that the recent market turmoil, including investments in the hedge fund, left it with huge losses this quarter. Other European banks disclosed losses on Friday.
The fund rescue and the bankers' warnings underscored fears about the shaky state of affairs in global finance.
As the day progressed, however, a more positive spin on the fund rescue developed, "putting a picket fence around this as an isolated event," said Henry Herrmann, chief investment officer at Waddell & Reed of Overland Park, Kan.
"So the market got free to have its thoughts drift to the Fed (interest) rate cut on Tuesday," said Herrmann, noting Fed chairman Alan Greenspan's strong hint earlier in the week that the central bank is set to spur the domestic and global economy with lower borrowing rates.