The Dow Jones industrial average jumped within 40 points of 8,000 Tuesday as investors ushered in the quarterly profitreporting season with an enthusiastic vote of confidence.
The Dow rose 103.82 to 7,962.31, the first close above 7,900 for the famed barometer of 30 big companies. The Dow, which topped 6,000 in October and 7,000 in February, has already risen 23.5 percent in 1997, more than double the return many experts predicted for the entire year.
Broad-market indicators also set new highs, rallying into the close after posting more modest gains for much of the session.
With no major economic data scheduled for this week until Friday’s reading on wholesale prices, the market’s focus shifted to the early trickle of company profit reports for the just-ended second quarter.
“We’ve had quarter after quarter of earnings that have exceeded expectations, and that has driven the market,” said Robert Freedman, chief investment officer for the John Hancock Funds in Boston. He added that last week’s economic news has eased market jitters about inflation and interest rates considerably.
Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Tuesday:
International Paper, up 4-15/16 at 56-1/8.
The world’s largest paper producer announced plans to eliminate 9,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force. International Paper also reported a smaller-than-expected second quarter loss.
Equitable of Iowa, up 8-1/2 at 65-7/8.
ING Group, up 3-1/4 at 51-1/2.
The companies reached an agreement for ING to acquire Equitable for $2.2 billion, or $68 a share. ING is a Netherlands-based financial services concern.
Culbro, down 5 at 117.
General Cigar Holdings, down 11/16 at 26-7/8.
An article in The Wall Street Journal focused on the new efforts by public-health advocates to attack the trendy cigar market, the fastest growing segment of the tobacco industry.
Wall Data, down 9-7/8 at 17-7/8.
The software maker, based in Kirkland, Wash., cautioned that lengthening sales cycles hurt revenues in the second quarter.
DataWorks, down 6-1/4 at 13-1/4.
The maker of software for manufacturers cautioned that its second-quarter income will be flat with year-ago levels, while revenue will fall short of analyst expectations due to delays in customer orders. DataWorks is based in San Diego.
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