Stocks pushed through record high levels in brisk activity on Friday, boosted by quarterly earnings reports and trading linked to expirations of options and futures contracts.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 39.43 points to close at 4,270.09, well above its previous record closing high of 4,230.66 set on Thursday.
Traders said Friday’s “double witching” expiration of index future contracts added volume and volatility to an otherwise quiet session.
Advancing issues led decliners by about 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavy, topping 403 million shares. That compares with 365.71 million on Thursday.
Stocks rose despite a flat bond market and a dip in the dollar.
“The one thing that was overhanging the market, during at least the last couple of months of the rally, was the situation with the dollar,” said Joseph McAlinden, chief market strategist at Dillon Read & Co.
“And while the dollar was fractionally off today, it does appear to have stabilized after breaking 80 yen the other night.”
Confidence about stable interest rates didn’t help the bond market much. The 30-year Treasury bond was trading about 1-16 point higher late in the day, after spending most of the session in negative territory.
But stock investors continued to bid stocks higher based on strong earnings reports.
Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday:
General Instrument fell 1/2 to 34.
The communications equipment company offered 15 million shares at $34.375 each.
IBM rose 2 5/8 to 91 5/8.
Compaq rose 1 1/8 at 36 7/8.
Both computer stocks were getting a lift for the second day on surprisingly strong first-quarter earnings, reported on Thursday.
Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 1 1/2 to 65.
Oppenheimer & Co. upgraded the drug maker’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform” and raised its 1995 earnings estimate to $4.95 per share from $4.88. The company earned $3.62 a share last year, after charges tied to breast implant liability claims. Oppenheimer analyst Steve Gerber said Bristol-Myers was minimizing the negative impact of the loss of patent protection for its antihypertensive drug Capoten, and noted that it has “an enormous pile of cash” with which to make acquisitions.
Southwest Airlines rose 2 5/8 to 21 1/2.
The company reported first-quarter net earnings of 8 cents per share, down from 28 cents a year ago. But Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to “above average” from “neutral” in the intermediate term, saying the bulk of the airline’s bad news is behind it.
Apple Computer rose 1 1/2 to 39 1/8.
The stock was extending Thursday’s 1 1/4-point rise, after the computer maker reported a 20-percent growth in unit sales but lower-thanexpected net earnings for its second fiscal quarter.
Cheyenne Software fell 1 3/8 to 14.
Late Thursday, the company reported thirdquarter net income of 20 cents per share, including a special charge, down from 25 cents a year ago.