The stock market ended a busy week of continuing advances in mixed fashion today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average of blue-chip stocks fell slightly, even though many stocks of second-tier companies turned in healthy gains.
Led by sharp advances early in the week, the industrials rose by more than 38 points during the week. The Dow closed at 1031.46, after dropping 5.52 points today. Once again, it had flirted with -- but had not reached -- the Dow's all-time high of 1,051.50.
The Dow industrials have gained 255 points since the current rally began in August, making today's close the highest end of the week figure in close to a decade.
But market analysts noted that there were substantially more gainers than losers today on both the NYSE and Amex, indicating the possibility that the market rally might not yet be running out of steam. However, the blue-chip stocks that make up the industrial average pulled back slightly.
"There is no real indication that the market's move is over yet," said Michael Metz, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. "The market is stronger than it looks because the top-tier leaders are looking tired."
Activity was brisk throughout the week, with volume today on the New York exchange at 101.1 million shares, down from 122.4 million yesterday, bringing the weekly total to 506.9 million shares.
Another indication of the market's continuing upbeat tone was the fact that the Dow transportation index rose almost 10 points today.
"The market may challenge or slightly exceed its all time highs before the advance is totally exhausted," said Richard McCabe, vice president at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.
Many market analysts are predicting that the stock market is due for a retreat during the next several weeks and there is a lot of talk on Wall Street about the market going down after the November elections.
Meanwhile, the New York composite index was down 0.04 point to 79.68, and the average price per share fell two cents.
The American Stock Exchange index closed up 2.76 at 326.60.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 119.49 million shares.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials dropped 0.54 point to 154.94, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 0.23 at 138.83.