Stocks climbed to record highs on Thursday for the third time in five sessions, powered by new evidence of a slowing economy that eased fears of inflation and higher interest rates.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished 30.78 higher at 4,069.15, topping its closing record of 4,048.75 set last Tuesday.
Investors snapped up a wide variety of stocks, pushing some broad market indexes above Tuesday’s records as well. The impending expiration of stock index future contracts today intensified the buying in the market, some technical analysts said.
Advancing issues led decliners by about 7 to 4 on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume was heavy at 336.69 million shares, up from 309.51 million on Wednesday.
Stocks were boosted by bonds and the dollar, which rallied after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve released an economic report that showed stagnant growth and eased price pressure in the region, a barometer of broader trends.
The report led investors to conclude that the Federal Reserve won’t have to raise interest rates further in its ongoing campaign against inflation.
Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday:
RJR Nabisco fell 1/8 to 5 5/8.
Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts sold its remaining 8-percent stake in RJR to its Borden subsidiary, which is expected to sell the shares on the open market.
Boise Cascade rose 1/8 to 32.
Champion International fell 3/4 to 38 3/8.
Louisiana-Pacific fell 1/4 to 26 3/4.
Weyerhaeuser fell 3/4 to 37 1/4.
Merrill Lynch lowered its long-term rating on these paper stocks and five others to “above average” from “buy,” saying pricing gains of the past six months will slow down and price-earnings multiples will begin to fall.
Tektronix rose 4 3/8 to 37 3/8.
Third-quarter profits were 70 cents per share, far exceeding last year’s 51 cents per share and analysts’ average estimates of 63 cents.
Lam Research fell 2 to 39 3/4.
The semiconductor maker was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by Smith Barney.
Infodata rose 3/8 to 37 1/8.
On Wednesday, the company said its fourth-quarter net profit was 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of 99 cents a year ago.
Hasbro rose 1 1/8 to 31 3/4.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities put the issue on its recommended list.