NEW YORK, JULY 31 -- The stock market extended its rally to eight straight sessions today, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its fourth record in a row.
The Dow closed at 2572.07, up 4.63 points from Thursday, 86.74 points for the week and 104.12 points since the rally started after the July 21 close.
Friday's session was calm: New York Stock Exchange volume was 181.87 million shares, close to the week's average of 182.14 million, but about 27 million shares less than Thursday's session.
Analysts said profit taking dominated most of the session, pushing the ratio into the minus column by mid-afternoon. "This rally has been greeted by a devastating amount of skepticism," said Ralph Bloch, an analyst at the Raymond James and Associates securities firm in St. Petersburg, Fla.
But, as happened most of the week, that selling only served to draw more buyers into the market toward the end of the day -- many of whom had remained on the sidelines expecting a correction.
On Thursday, the Dow industrials jumped 27.90 points to close at 2567.44, its third straight record high.
That followed a 19.77-point leap Wednesday.
On the New York Stock Exchange Friday, advancing issues outpaced decliners by about 6 to 5, with 836 issues higher, 693 lower and 428 unchanged.
Among blue chips, Boeing gained 1 to 53, GTE was up 1 1/2 to 41 3/4 and Union Carbide was up 3/8 at 28 3/8.
General Motors was up 2, at 88 7/8, while Chrysler was down 1/4 at 40 3/4 and Ford Motor fell 3/8 to 101 5/8.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials rose 0.81 to 373.36, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was up 0.61 at 318.66.
The Nasdaq composite index for the over-the-counter market closed at 434.93, up 1.36