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Stocks Edge Up In Nervous Trading

Stocks followed bonds cautiously higher on Thursday, but they were hampered by continued volatility in the dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended 4.16 higher at 3,983.39, after trading in a narrow 22-point range all day. Of the 30 Dow index components, 11 rose, two were unchanged, and 17 fell.

Big Board volume was moderately heavy at 319.12 million shares as of 4 p.m., down from 349.7 million on Wednesday.

Blue chip issues got a boost from the bond market, where the 30-year Treasury bond was up 11-32 point late in the day.

Bonds were firmer all day, despite a rocky foreign exchange market.

The dollar, which has plunged to all-time lows this week, perked up a bit in early trading after Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said the Treasury would intervene to support the dollar “when it makes sense.”

But the dollar quickly retreated against the mark and the yen amid ongoing concerns about Latin America.

“The market is just waiting for another shoe to drop,” said John Burnett, a trader at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities. “There is a good deal of caution. Most people are crossing their fingers, hoping to see some stabilization in South America and Mexico.”

Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday:


US West rose 1 to 39-1/2.

The stock rose after the Englewood, Col., communications company filed its annual report with the SEC reiterating previous statements that it was considering unspecified changes to its capital structure.

IBM rose 7/8 to 80-5/8.

Compaq rose 5/8 to 33-1/2.

Motorola fell 3/8 to 56.

Comuter stocks rose, then backed off and finished mixed, after the Semiconductor Industry Association said its book-to-bill ratio, a measure of new orders, rose in February. Also, IBM said it would cut prices on some models by as much as 22 percent.


Oracle Systems rose 1/4 to 32-3/4.

Intel rose 7-16 to 80 3-16.

Apple Computer rose 3-16 to 39-3/4.

Computer-related stocks rose after the Semiconductor Industry Association said its book-to-bill ratio, a measure of orders, rose in February.


Storage Computer rose 1-7/8 to 9-3/4.

The company completed a reorganization including the acquisition of the business and technology assets of Vermont Research Corp. in a stock swap.

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