NEW YORK, MAY 30 -- The Dow Jones industrial average fought off a day of profit-taking today, managing to eke out another record close, up 8 points for the day.
The Dow briefly leapt as high as 23 points ahead in the early afternoon before scurrying back to negative territory and a 3-point loss a half-hour before the close.
Most activity centered on blue-chip issues, with IBM posting its second consecutive gain this week, up 1 1/8 at 120 7/8, fueling optimism among some players that the Dow's rally will continue.
But even as some of the 30 Dow industrial stocks rallied, others lost ground in profit-taking that sent cash either to the sidelines or to second-tier issues, signifying that some accounts feel the rally is losing steam in certain stocks that have been longtime gainers.
Steady strength in U.S. bonds and the dollar also gave stocks a boost.
At the close, the Dow was at 2878.56, up 8.07. Volume was an active 207 million shares, up sharply from 136 million on Tuesday. Advances edged declines by 800 to 699.
Walt Disney Co. led today's winners, up 6 points at 125 3/4 after being delayed for an order imbalance at the opening. The stock rallied on a rumor that investment banking firm Wertheim Schroeder recommended the issue as the "stock of the '90s."
Among blue chips, Procter & Gamble, a steady winner, gained 2 points to 82.
Aside from IBM's gains, high-technology issues were mixed, loosening the sector's leadership in recent weeks. Digital Equipment fell 1 3/4 to 93 and Compaq Computer lost 7/8 at 119 1/2.
Among companies in the news, Xerox lost 1 3/4 at 46 1/2 on a published report that forecast new write-offs at the company's Crum & Forster insurance unit, rivaling the $400 million charge taken in the first quarter.
Armstrong World Industries lost 1 1/2 at 35 3/4 on news that First City Capital Corp., which is controlled by the Belzberg family, sold its stake in the company. Armstrong later said it had bought back a large portion of the shares.
The broad indexes ended mixed, with the NYSE Composite down 0.18 at 196.75, the Value Line up 0.51 at 286.43, the Standard & Poor's 500 up 0.21 at 360.86 and the Nasdaq up 1.26 at 458.77.