NEW YORK, SEPT. 12 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13 points today despite a slide in the bond market, a weaker dollar and signs of continued instability in the Middle East.
Traders said stocks were simply too technically "sold out" to pay much attention to the quarter-point loss registered by bonds or to the 2-yen drop in the dollar occasioned by continued massive fund switches to Japanese currency in recognition of rising interest rates in Japan, as well as cash needs by Japanese companies as they close their half-year books at the end of September.
A statement by Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for a "holy war" against the United States also seemed to be taken in stride by a market intent on rallying, traders said. Although crude oil futures rose, it was a modest 21 cents, ending the day at $30.97 per barrel for October light crude.
Overall, traders appeared pleased with the resilience in stocks. "It was a pretty slow day, but I think the market 'wants' to go higher," said technical analyst Paul Kronlokken at Piper Jaffray and Hopwood. "Oils were strong, but transports were weak, while most groups, like the high technologies, showed moderate strength."
Block trader John Schraff at Daiwa Securities said, "All told, the market is going to stay in the range of Dow 2590-2650 until something big happens."
Among other industry groups, waste management stocks took some high-volume hits after Prudential-Bache downgraded its rating for Browning-Ferris from buy to hold. Browning-Ferris finished down 1 1/2 at 33 on volume of over 1.6 million New York Stock Exchange shares. In the same industry group, Waste Management fell 3/4 to 35 1/2 on over 1 million shares.
Except for a conspicuous 1 1/4 gain to 24 3/8 in Bank of New York, bank stocks were also generally soft, a carry-over from Tuesday when the General Accounting Office warned Congress that federal deposit bank insurance might require Treasury financing within a year if steps are not taken to shore up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The session star was insurance outfit Corroon & Black Corp., which rose over 20 percent on the NYSE after insurance holding company Aon Corp. topped a previous buyout proposal by Willis Faber PLC. Aon offered pay $40 per share cash, or $840 million, compared to a $33-per-share proposal by Willis. Corroon & Black surged 6 3/4 to 37 5/8 on volume of over 1.6 million shares.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2625.74, up 13.12, while advances edged declines on the Big Board by a ratio of about 7 to 6 on light volume of 129 million shares.
Gulf States Utilities lost 1 3/8 to close at 10 after the Supreme Court, overturning an earlier appeals court ruling, decided that state regulators didn't have authority to figure a $1.4 billion investment in the River Bend nuclear power plant in Gulf States's rate base.
MNC rose 3/8 to 7 7/8 in heavy trading in response to Tuesday's news that the board had approved refinancing plans that included continued payment of dividends at 29 cents per share.
Aluminum companies' shares were strong, in part because of Reynolds Metals announcement that its earnings would remain high. Reynolds shares closed at 68 3/8, up 2 1/4. Also advancing were Alcoa, up 2 to 68 1/4, and Alcan, up 1/2 to 22 1/8.
Among industry groups, integrated petroleum stocks were mostly higher. Chevron rose 1 to 77 1/8, Texaco added 1 5/8 to 64 1/4, Exxon firmed 1/2 to 51 3/8 and Atlantic Richfield jumped 2 1/4 to 138 1/2. British Petroleum advanced 1 1/8 to 82 3/8 and Amerada-Hess tacked on 1 3/8 to 54 3/4.
Among computer companies, which received some spirited selling on Tuesday, results were mixed but generally positive. While Digital Equipment tumbled 2 to 61 5/8 and IBM posted only a 3/8 gain to 107 7/8 after Tuesday's late rally, NCR rose 1 1/8 to 60, Compaq added 1 to 44 1/4, Stratus moved up 1 to 16 5/8 and in Nasdaq trading, AST Research rallied 1 to 19.
The Dow transportation stocks suffered moderately from a 21 cent-per-barrel rise in October crude-oil futures. The transports eased 0.94 to 908.65, but the utilities rallied 1.44 to 201.71.
Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 finished up 1.50 at 322.54, the NYSE Composite was up 0.70 at 177.09, the Value Line rose0.45 at 246.86, the Amex Market Value edged up 0.18 at 323.19 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.83 at 380.32.