Stock in Dayton Hudson Corp., the nation's sixth-largest department store chain, closed sharply up yesterday, fueling speculation that Washington's Haft family may be acquiring stock in the company for another takeover bid.

Dayton Hudson's stock was the fourth most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, closing up $1.87 1/2 at $52.25 amid rumors that the Minneapolis company was a takeover target.

The company most frequently mentioned as a potential acquirer was Dart Group Corp., the Landover company controlled by the Hafts.

A source close to Dart said the company "will not comment on rumors." However, the same source last week specifically denied rumors that Dart was buying stock in Southland Corp.

A spokesman for Dayton Hudson said the company knew of no reason for the stock fluctuations.

For the past two years, Dart has bid for several companies, including, most recently, Supermarkets General Corp. Although Herbert Haft and his son, Robert, never succeeded, they made more than $200 million in profits .

Dayton Hudson is considered one of the best retailers. It runs Dayton Hudson department stores in the Midwest; Mervyn's in the West; Target in the Midwest, and Lechmere in the Northeast and Southeast.