NEW YORK, NOV. 16 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5 points today as the market turned up its nose at an unmistakable move by the Federal Reserve to ease short-term interest rates and a drop in oil prices below $30.
Crude oil closed down $1.34 at $29.78 yesterday.
Analysts said traders had anticipated both developments earlier in the week, pushing the Dow ahead 100 points in three sessions.
Dragging down the market today were telephone stocks, led by MCI, which saw its shares drop 7 3/8 to close at 22 5/8 on news that it intends to lay off 1,500 employees over the next six months as part of a restructuring made necessary by intense competition in the long-distance market. MCI accounted for more than 20 percent of all trading on the over-the-counter market in trading that was described as frenzied. More than 24 million shares traded hands.
In sympathy, AT&T slumped 1 1/8 to 32, United Telecom shed 2 7/8 to close at 22 1/2 and Contel Corp. lost 1 1/8 , ending the day at 32 5/8.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2550.25, up 5.20, while advancing issues slightly edged declining ones on the Big Board on moderate volume of 166 million shares, expanding from 151 million shares on Thursday.
IBM resumed its leadership role, posting a full-point gain to 113 5/8, with other technology issues following its lead. But Adobe System fell 3 1/8 to 26 1/2 and Apple Computer shed 7/8, closing at 35 1/8.
GM lost 3/4, closing at 38 1/2, while Ford fell 3/8 to 27 7/8 after Merrill Lynch downgraded its investment ratings for both carmakers, citing a weak car market and credit problems.
The Dow transports inched 3.50 lower to 864.47 while the utilities firmed 0.82 to 208.25.
Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 0.10 at 317.12, the NYSE Composite up 0.18 at 173.30, the Value Line up 0.03 at 229.11 and the Amex Market Value up 0.83 at 297.52, but the Nasdaq Composite slipped 3.60 to 350.86.