NEW YORK, DEC. 4 -- The Dow Jones industrial average ended a wild day 14 points higher today after unsubstantiated reports of an Iraqi plan for withdrawing from Kuwait turned a 25-point loss into a 14-point gain in a matter of minutes.
The unsubstantiated report by a British cable television network was disseminated by wire services and began moving financial markets dramatically around 1:30 p.m. Stock-index futures surged, inviting heavy program buying as the cash stock market rallied on its own.
Bonds also rose, and the dollar tumbled.
Stocks got off to a bad start following conspicuous losses in overseas stock markets. Tokyo's Nikkei-225 index plunged 863 points to 21,862 overnight amid strong individual selling related to expiring margin positions.
By midafternoon in New York, a fresh rise in oil prices and poor action in Dow component Eastman Kodak helped send the Dow to new session lows, down 25 points. Oil ended the day up $1.51 a barrel, at $30.66.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2579.70, up 14.11. Advances, which played leapfrog with declines all day, pulled ahead at the close as gainers outnumbered losers by a ratio of 3 to 2. New York Stock Exchange volume was active at 185 million shares.
Kodak's problems began after analyst Alexander Henderson at Prudential-Bache announced he had taken Kodak off the firm's "trading buy" recommended list because the stock had "no remaining upside in the market. After trading as low as 40 1/2, Kodak closed down 1 1/4 at 41 1/2, despite the late market rally, on composite volume of 1.6 million shares.
NCR added another 2 1/4 to 83 3/4 on last weekend's takeover offer from AT&T. Deere & Co. skidded 1 5/8 to close at 44 1/2 after it reported disappointing net for the recent quarter.
And production-systems specialist Keystone International tumbled 3 3/8 to 23 7/8 in reaction to a management announcement, after the market closed on Monday, that fourth-quarter earnings would likely turn out flat.
The Dow transports finished up 9.81 at 881.85, while the utilities gained 0.95 to 212.72.
The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 2.25 at 326.35, the NYSE Composite up 1.12 at 178.19, the Value Line up 1.13 at 236.52, the Amex Market Value up 0.04 at 302.64 and the Nasdaq Composite up 2.79 at 364.11.