NEW YORK, AUG. 9 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points today following a rally in the bond market, where the final stage of the Treasury's quarterly refunding concluded strongly.
Today's advance brings the Dow's two-session gain to over 48 points, representing a 25 percent retracement of losses incurred since the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq a week ago.
Because bidding for three-year Treasury notes on Tuesday and 10-year notes on Wednesday had been weaker than expected, today's firm demand for 30-year bonds was greeted with relief by a stock market that has been obsessed with the danger that the latest Mideast flare-up could send U.S. inflation rates soaring.
Although in afternoon trading Mideast developments took a back seat to the domestic bond rally, the stock market remained nervous over Wednesday's decision by the White House to deploy heavy forces in and around Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, the market remained pleased with the over $2-per-barrel falloff of oil prices on Wednesday, and a lack of volatility in oil futures today. New York September crude oil futures finished off 29 cents at $25.67 per barrel in a market exhausted by the emotional trading of the last five sessions.
''There's been a general lull in stocks,'' said head equities trader Edward Collins at Daiwa Securities. At the close, the Dow stood at 2758.91, up 24.01. Advances outpaced declines on the New York Stock Exchange on moderate volume of 156 million shares.
Among Dow components, leadership was more narrow than market bulls would have preferred. Boeing rose 1 1/2 to 54 1/2, Allied Signal moved up 1 1/2 to 34 1/8 and Primerica advanced 1 1/8 to 31 1/8, but other gains were only fractional.
Among the big oil stocks, Texaco inched up 1/8 to 62 7/8, Chevron rested unchanged at 76 7/8 and Exxon edged 1/8 higher to 51 7/8. British Petroleum eased 3/4 to 79 7/8 after issuing a report downplaying the effects of the temporary loss of both Iraqi and Kuwaiti oil on world markets. Atlantic Richfield rose 1/8 to 135 7/8 despite Wednesday's announcement of a moratorium on wholesale price hikes for a week.
Among the food stocks, where full-point gains were common on Wednesday, only a handful of stocks gained prominently. CPC International rose 2 3/8 to 78 5/8, General Mills added 2 3/8 to 88, Sara Lee tacked on 1 1/8 to 27 3/4, Ralston Purina added 1 to 93 1/8, Smucker rose 1 to 41 1/2 and Universal Foods rallied 1 to 30 3/8. Among drug stocks, the focus was on Nasdaq issues. Amgen surged 4 1/2 to 87, while Biogen advanced 1 3/4 to 23 3/4.
The Dow transports rose 6.75 to 998.18, but the interest-sensitive utilities slumped 1.07 to 204.48 despite gains in the bond market.
Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.59 at 339.94, the NYSE Composite up 0.84 at 186.24, the Value Line up 1.36 at 264.60, the Amex Market Value up 1.46 at 341.49, and the Nasdaq Composite up 5.25 at 412.98.