NEW YORK, JAN. 10 -- The Dow Jones industrial average rebounded 28 points today in what was generally regarded as a technical reaction to six straight sessions of declining prices.

Since the beginning of 1991, the Dow had fallen 6.2 percent, its worst showing in history for the first six trading days of a year, and traders said a rally was overdue.

Although the number of advancing stocks led declining issues on the Big Board, the margin was not impressive and trading volume was down.

Stock action was prompted by a similar, technical bounce in the bond market, where the 30-year Treasury was up 1 18/32 at the close.

"There's a fair amount of cash around, and these markets have been having liquidity problems," explained Thomas Callahan at Yamaichi International.

"What that does is make a money manager who's, say, 25 percent in cash a little nervous about being able to 'get in' when he wants to."

At the close, the Dow stood at 2498.76, up 28.46, while advances led declines on the New York Stock Exchange by a ratio of about 8 to 6 on light volume of 124 million shares.

Although corporate news was slow, Ford Motor Co. pleasantly surprised traders. Ford rose 1/2 to 25 5/8 on the day after it announced it will maintain its 75-cent-per-share quarterly dividend.

Among Dow components, IBM rose 1 1/2 to 108 3/8, Alcoa rallied 1 3/8 to 55 1/2, American Express added 1 to 20 3/8, and International Paper advanced 1 1/2 to 52 7/8, 3M gained 1 1/8 to 79 5/8, Merck rose 1 1/8 to 83 3/8 and Procter & Gamble tacked on 1 to 80 7/8.

Boeing moved up 1 1/4 to 45, although news of a plant closing was not thought to affect the price. After the market closed, the Air Force announced cancellation of a contract for air-defense work in Saudi Arabia.

The Washington Post Co. rose 2 to 197 1/4 after announcing it will raise its quarterly dividend to $1.05 per share from $1.

Among most-active issues, Occidental Petroleum traded off 1 to 17, while The Limited gained 1 to 19 1/4 after announcing that fiscal-December sales were up 4 percent compared to the same-store sales a year earlier.

MNC was up 7/8 to 2 3/4 after Wednesday's report that its chairman may buy part of its credit card-operation.

On the over-the-counter market, Apple gained 2 and Microsoft 1/2 after analysts reiterated buy calls.

The Dow transports finished up 8.62 at 904.42, while the utilities ended up 0.70 at 205.55.

Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 3.05 at 314.53, the NYSE Composite rose 1.46 at 172.43, the Value Line climbed 1.77 at 234.26, the Amex Market Value was up 0.89 at 299.01, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 4.47 at 361.92.