NEW YORK, JULY 30 -- The stock market took off in another late-session rally that sent the Dow Jones industrial average to its third straight record high today.
The closely watched index, marking its seventh upside close in a row, rocketed 27.90 points to end the session at 2567.44.
That topped Wednesday's 19.77-point surge to 2539.54, which in turn had bested Tuesday's 25.83-point run to its previous record high of 2519.77.
Other indexes hit new peaks as well.
The dollar value of 5,000 stocks traded in the NYSE, Amex and over-the-counter markets jumped $21.68 billion to $3.128 trillion, as measured by Wilshire Associates of Santa Monica, Calif.
Analysts attributed the latest performance to factors that have been firing the rally, including an ocean of cash held by institutions and foreign investors and a get-on-board psychology that has intensified as the surge picked up momentum.
In addition, they said traders have been impressed by better-than-expected earnings reports for the second quarter that have been released in the past two weeks.
Coming against a backdrop of gloom and uncertainty about the direction of the economy, prospects for higher inflation and worries about Persian Gulf tensions, those positive reports have served to intensify the market's upbeat mood, they said.
"Wall Streeters just can't sit on the sidelines while blue chips are taking off, showing good earnings," said Ralph J. Acampora, an analyst at Kidder, Peabody & Co.
Among New York Stock Exchange-listed issues, 208.02 million shares traded hands today, up from 152.04 million shares Monday, 172.60 million Tuesday and 196.18 Wednesday.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 3 to 2 on the Big Board.
Thursday's trading started out with a moderate gain of less than 15 points in the Dow index that evaporated amid profit taking to just about nothing by midday.
That activity apparently served to lure more buyers into the fray, who had been standing on the sidelines waiting for the market to dip.
Traders have also been encouraged higher prices brought on by recently announced stock buybacks, mergers and acquisitions, the analysts said.
Baxter Travenol led the Big Board's most active stocks at 26 1/4, up 1 3/4; Merck was up 3/4 at 189 3/4, while Pfizer gained 2 1/2, to 75.
GTE was up 7/8 at 40 1/4; Eastman Kodak was up 5/8 94 1/2; IBM was up 1/2 at 162, and Digital Equipment was up 2 at 162 1/2.
Dow Chemical was up 2 5/8 at 90 7/8.
Chrysler gained 1 1/2 to 41; General Motors was up 1/2 at 86 7/8 and Ford Motor gained 1/8 at 102.
Exxon gained 1 3/8 to 93 3/8; Atlantic Richfield lost 1 1/8, to 94 3/4, and Chevron was down 5/8 at 60 1/4.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 246.02 million shares.
The NYSE index was up 1.32 at 178.32, a new high.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials rose 3.11 to 272.55, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was up 2.40 at 318.05.