NEW YORK, JUNE 19 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11 points today in a session that was widely viewed as a lackluster, technical rebound following the Dow's 53-point spill Monday.
The Dow rose 5 points initially, then extended gains to 16 points by midmorning amid what traders termed a "snap-back" rally after follow-through selling failed to materialize in the wake of Monday's heavy losses.
As the Dow approached resistance at 2900, however, the rally faded, price erosion set in and computerized index-arbitrage sell-programs were triggered. Sporadic program buying helped push prices back near session highs into the close.
"It's been mostly a technical market," said president and chief trader Jon Groveman at Ladenburg, Thalmann, voicing what appeared to be general agreement among tape-watchers.
"There's not been much of a trend here at all, and there's been almost no feature in this market," Groveman said.
Some observers suggested that the market's inability to recapture the previous day's loss was largely attributable to lack of support from the bond market, where 30-year Treasury bonds had languished between 1/32 and 12/32 deficits all day, thanks in part to a somewhat smaller percentage drop than expected for May housing starts.
Bonds were off 8/32 as the stock market closed.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2893.56, up 11.38, while advancing issues edged decliners on the Big Board on moderate volume of 134 million shares.
Although today's retracement of Monday's worrisome losses was less extensive than many bulls had hoped for, traders were heartened by the lack of follow-through selling seen at the opening.
Among Dow component stocks, moves remained almost entirely fractional throughout the session. Only two stocks broke the pattern: Philip Morris rose 1 1/2 to 44 1/4, and Procter & Gamble gained 1 1/8 to 83 5/8.
Among active stocks, Occidental Petroleum lost 5/8 to 26 on 1.5 million shares. The stock fell more than a point in early trading, apparently as investors reacted to events on Monday, when the company's senior debt was downgraded by Standard & Poor's to BBB-minus, the lowest investment-grade rating.
The Dow transports inched up 3.09 to 1178.83, while the utilities bounced back 0.63 to 208.94 after an unusually sharp drop on Monday.
Among broad stock indexes, secondary measures lagged the blue chips. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.59 at 358.47, the NYSE Composite rose 0.68 at 195.61, the Value Line was up only 0.18 at 286.30, the Amex Market Value edged up 0.07 at 360.83, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.26 at 460.53.