NEW YORK, JULY 25 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose 8 points today on a combination of firm bonds and some positive reactions to corporate earnings.
But the earnings picture was too mixed to generate a more substantial rally and continued caution among money managers -- with Monday morning's crash-like market action still fresh in their minds -- also served to limit the advance to 13 Dow points at the session's high, traders and analysts agreed.
The bond market remained firm all day, in the wake of morning news that congressional negotiators are making progress toward a meaningful budget-reduction accord for fiscal 1991. The U.S. 30-year Treasury was up 9/32 as stocks opened and 13/32 as they closed.
But some observers noted that when preoccupation with the budget abates, the stock market will be left to fret over increasingly worrisome economic statistics, such as today's report that June durable goods orders fell 3.2 percent.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2930.94, up 8.42, while advances outpaced declines on the Big Board by a moderate margin of 8 to 5 on volume of 163 million shares.
Digital Equipment's second-quarter report of its first loss ever received a lukewarm welcome. Its stock closed off 5/8 at 74 7/8.
Du Pont was up 1/2 at 39 3/8 following earnings that were only a penny below the mean expectation. Pitney-Bowes eased only 1 to 41 5/8 after reporting net from continuing operations at 76 cents per share, 2 cents below its year-ago results. The damage had already been done, traders said.
Among some of the more specialized high-technology companies, earnings and subsequent price movements were more dramatic.
Gerber Scientific tumbled 2 7/8 to 10 3/8 for a nearly 21 percent loss on the day after projecting disappointing results for its fiscal second half.
But Silicon Graphics rose 3 3/8 to 35 7/8, an 8 percent advance, after late Tuesday's report of better-than-expected fourth-fiscal-quarter net of 51 cents per share compared to 28 cents a year earlier. Analysts had been led to believe that poor results from Silicon's aerospace division would mar its results.
And Cray Research skidded 2 to close at 45. Management announced, along with solid quarterly earnings, that results for the second half might not be so good.
The Dow transports rose 3.65 to 1141.61, while the severely depressed utilities surged 2.26 to 202.65. Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.30 at 357.09, the NYSE Composite up 0.65 at 195.10, the Value Line up 1.14 at 281.43, the Amex Market Value up 1.44 at 356.95, and the Nasdaq Composite up 2.89 at 445.45.