NEW YORK, FEB. 16 -- Stock investors ignored bad news on interest rates, the dollar and commodity prices today as the Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks cracked the 2000 barrier for the first time since early January.
The Dow industrials rose 22.71 points to 2005.97, its first finish above 2000 since a 140.58-point plunge Jan. 8.
The Dow indicator has risen 110.25 points in the past five trading sessions.
"For a market that's not supposed to go up, that's a pretty good performance," said Jack Baker, head of block trading for Shearson Lehman Hutton Inc.
Stock analysts were at a loss to explain the market's strong performance, especially in light of a recent rise in interest rates. Usually higher rates hurt stock prices by threatening to slow down the economy and by providing an attractive investment alternative to stocks.
Interest rates, after a big rise Friday, continued to climb today. The yield on the Treasury's benchmark 30-year bond rose to 8.46 percent as its price fell about $3 for every $1,000 in face value.
Stocks got no help from the dollar, which weakened slightly against most major currencies.
And metals prices -- an early warning sign of commodity inflation -- rose strongly.
"It's kind of befuddling," said Charles Jensen, technical analyst for MKI Securities Corp. in New York.
Comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan did not appear to move the market. Greenspan said in a Washington speech that the economy seems to be in equilibrium and gave no indication the Fed was ready to change its monetary policy.
Big Board volume totaled 135.38 million shares, down from 144.86 million in last Friday's session. The stock market was closed Monday for Presidents Day.
Firestone shot up 9 1/4 to 45. The company said it planned to spin off its worldwide tire business into a $1.5 billion joint venture to be 75 percent owned by Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp.
Publishing companies were higher on takeover speculation after Pearson PLC's $283 million deal Monday to buy Addison-Wesley. Houghton Mifflin rose 3 7/8 to 31 7/8 and Grolier rose 1 1/8 to 13 1/4.
Santa Fe Southern Pacific rose 7/8 to 45 1/2 in heavy trading. Olympia & York, the Canadian developer, began a tender offer to increase its stake in the company by as many as 14 million shares.
Federated Department Stores jumped 3 1/8 to 63 3/4. Campeau Corp. said it was prepared to offer $66 a share to acquire the company in a definitive merger agreement.
Among blue-chip stocks, International Business Machines rose 1 3/4 to 113 3/4, General Motors rose 1 7/8 to 69 and General Electric rose 5/8 to 43 7/8.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 156.41 million shares.
The NYSE index rose 1.10 to 145.96.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials rose 3.02 to 299.09, and S&P's 500-stock composite index rose 2.20 to 259.83.
At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index rose 1.93 to 278.93. The Nasdaq composite index for the over-the-counter market rose 1.47 points to 354.74.