NEW YORK, NOV. 2 -- The Dow Jones industrial average surged 36 points today, shrugging off an afternoon dip in the bond market as financial stocks led a broad, impressive rally.
The rally, which was propelled by aggressive bargain hunting in the cash market and occasional spurts of index-arbitrage program buying, brought the Dow's gain on the week to 54 points.
"For the first time in many weeks, we've been hearing fund managers complain that they can't buy the stocks they want -- the shares just haven't been for sale," said Jim Creber at Miller Tabak & Hirsh.
Other traders said banking, financial-service and insurance stocks, responding to the prospect of lower interest rates, were instrumental in leading today's rally.
"After a general market decline, improvement in the interest-rate-sensitive areas is usually very important as a precursor to a rebuilding process," said technical analyst Philip J. Roth at Dean Witter.
But skeptics argued that surprisingly strong rallies in issues that have recently been badly mauled are simply an integral part of the bear-market process. "Each time a major bank reports another huge addition to its loan-loss reserves you'll hear that they have 'finally bitten the bullet' and that the stage has been set for a rebound," said Charles M. LaLoggia, who publishes the Special Situation Report from Rochester, N.Y. "This is how a bear market operates." Like "boiling a frog," investors are placed in a pot and the water is slow-heated by stages to avoid a mass exodus before the pot's contents are thoroughly "cooked," LaLoggia suggested.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2490.84, up 35.89, while advancing issues outpaced declining ones by an almost 5-to-2 ratio on moderate volume of 168 million shares.
Among the money centers, Bank of New York closed up 2 1/2 at 17 1/4, Bankers Trust gained 2 1/8 to 34 1/8, Wells Fargo advanced 2 1/8 to 45 3/8, Republic New York rose 1 7/8 to 41 3/4, Mellon moved up 1 1/8 to 20 1/4 and J.P. Morgan tacked on 1 to 39.
Among diversified insurance stocks, gains were just as dramatic. Marsh & McLennan surged 3 3/8 to 71 1/2, CNA Financial jumped 3 1/8 to 54 7/8, Aetna gained 2 5/8 to 32 3/4, Cigna rallied 2 1/2 to 37, Transamerica moved up 2 to 28 and Travelers spurted 1 3/8 to 13 7/8.
Among Dow components IBM rose a moderate 1 1/8 to 108 3/8. Alcoa gained 1 to 54 1/4, Boeing ran up 1 3/4 to 46 and Minnesota Mining added 1 1/8 to 79 7/8.
The Dow transports rose 10.54 to close at 842.46, while the utilities firmed 0.31 to 215.92, apparently exhausted from three straight sessions of outperforming the market.
Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 4.83 to 311.85, the NYSE Composite up 2.48 at 170.07, the Value Line up 3.25 at 221.09, the Amex Market Value up 1.08 at 289.98 and the Nasdaq Composite up 5.85 at 336.45.