Stock prices surged yesterday as the rally that began last August picked up steam again.
Analysts said there was no particular event that triggered the 36.43-point climb in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to 1,039.28. It was the fourth-biggest one-day rise in that closely watched stock market barometer. The record 43.41-point climb occurred on Nov. 3.
Trading volume surged as well. Nearly 94 million shares of stock changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, compared with 61.1 million on Monday. Nearly 1,250 stocks rose in price yesterday, while 396 declined.
"There was no particular catalyst," said Jerry Hinkle, chief trader for the brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "It's just the continuation of an underlying bull market." Hinkle said the optimism that fuels the market is based on expectations that interest rates will continue to decline, easing pressure on financially battered companies and setting the stage for an economic recovery.
Interest rates have fallen sharply since July, and most market observers expect the Federal Reserve to take steps soon to reduce rates again.
On Monday, however, concern that the central bank's easing of monetary policy was over, coupled with the prospects of heavy government and private borrowing, sent interest rates up and bond prices down.
But stock investors resisted the selling pressures that pervaded the bond markets. When prices rallied, volume increased. When prices began to fall, volume decreased, according to Bernstein's Hinkle. On Monday, the Dow average, which charts the performance of 30 major industrial company stocks, declined 4.51 points.
Yesterday, when big institutions such as pension funds and life insurance companies realized that stock prices would not fall, these cash-flush investors began to buy strongly, especially in the final hour of trading, analysts said. The New York Stock Exchange reported that there were 1,549 big blocks of stock (10,000 shares or more) traded yesterday compared with 940 on Monday. Most big-block trades are made by institutional investors.
The Commerce Department reported yesterday that leading economic indicators rose 0.6 percent, about in line with what many Wall Street analysts had expected. The department said later that its report was in error and that leading indicators rose 0.2 percent in October. Analysts said they doubted the revisions would have much impact on investors today.
The New York Stock Exchange's own index rose 2.22 points to 79.95. The price of the average share on the NYSE rose 91 cents yesterday.
On the American Stock Exchange, the index rose 7.36 points to 336.17. Nearly 8.5 million shares of stock changed hands on the Amex compared with 7.7 million on Monday. The Amex said 438 stocks rose in price, while 211 declined.
One of the big gainers on the New York Exchange was CBS, whose stock rose 2 7/8 a share to 62 7/8. After the market closed, CBS joined with Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., and Home Box Office Inc. in announcing a joint venture to produce and distribute theatrical motion pictures. HBO, a unit of Time Inc., will license the motion pictures for pay-television viewing.
International Business Machines rose 3 7/8 a share to 86 3/8. The company said a permanent injunction was issued against the remaining defendants in a suit IBM brought against Bridge Technology. The Navy's decision to recommend production of the controversial F18 attack plane sent McDonnell Douglas stock up 3 1/4 a share to 40 1/4.