NEW YORK, SEPT. 25 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose a healthy 32 points today as crude oil futures generally eased off Monday's record-breaking levels and the bond market recovered its footing.
November crude oil futures finished down 72 cents at $37.53 per barrel, while 30-year Treasury bonds were up 6/32 as stocks closed.
While the broader market for stocks was indecisive, blue-chip issues were able to rally for much of the day, bolstered by at least five waves of afternoon computer-program buying.
Block trader Michael Britt at Kidder Peabody said, "It's a two-tier market, and with volume so light I have the feeling we're going to ease off again. The market's been program-driven this afternoon, and day traders hop on the rallies as they get started. But so far there have been few longer-term takers -- institutions are very quiet."
At the close, the Dow stood at 2485.64, up 32.67, but advancing issues barely edged declining ones on the Big Board. New York Stock Exchange volume was moderate at 155 million shares.
On the over-the-counter market, MCI was up 1 1/4 to close at 31 after the company announced introduction of new data networking products that will allow users to tap into remote supercomputers.
Bank stocks rebounded from a month-long decline caused by concern over the impact of bad real estate loans. Chase Manhattan closed up 3/4 at 12, Citicorp gained 1/4 to 15 1/2 and Manufacturers Hanover added 1/2 to close at 22 3/8.
Airlines also recovered as oil prices eased. USAir was up 1 3/8 to 16 1/2, Delta gained 1 1/8 to 54 1/8 and AMR climbed to 41 3/4, up 1 3/4. The exception was UAL, dropping 2 7/8 to 89 on speculation that employees would not be able to consummate their proposed buyout. As a result, the Dow transports were able to inch up 2.77 to close at 844.67
Among broad stock indexes, the dual nature of the tape was evident. While the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 3.67 to 308.26 and the NYSE Composite added 1.69 to 169.20, indexes of secondary stocks lagged. The Value Line rose only 0.89 to 230.96, the Amex Market Value gained a mere 0.33 to 313.17 and the Nasdaq Composite rallied a modest 2.62 to 354.78 after its 10-point plunge on Monday.