Stocks tip-toed higher Friday, lifting some indexes further into record territory as bond prices firmed and trading slowed to a crawl before the long holiday weekend.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose just 0.74 to 5,762.86, finishing the week with a gain of 75.36. The blue-chip barometer, which set new highs Monday and Wednesday, was up nearly 37 points at the start of Friday's trading before trailing lower.Broad-market measures were mostly positive, but the Nasdaq market was weighed down by the technology sector. Analysts said there was little motivation for new buying in a pricey market that's already ridden a wave of encouraging economic reports well into record territory.
"It's a meaningless day in terms of setting any agenda for where we're going," said John Cleland, chief investment strategist at Security Benefit Group in Topeka, Kan. "Everybody's already on vacation and we're taking a break."
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a slim margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled a sleepy 329.14 million shares as of 4 p.m., down sharply from Thursday's 431.32 million.
Although the market's advance was modest, it was enough to break some records.
The NYSE's composite index rose 1.31 to 363.74, barely topping Wednesday's record finish at 363.69. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 2.51 to 678.51, edging Wednesday's record high at 378.42.
At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index rose 1.27 to 613.95.
The Nasdaq composite index, which on Thursday set a new high, fell 0.77 to 1,247.88 as investors secured some profits on some recent high-flyers. Disk-drive makers Iomega and SyQuest Technologies plunged after a weeklong rally based more on speculation than news. Iomega lost 6 11/16 to 44 9/16, and SyQuest slid 7 to 107/8.
Investors also took some profits on tobacco stocks, which enjoyed a big run-up on Thursday's news that a federal appeals court had rejected a class-action liability suit filed on behalf of millions of smokers. Philip Morris fell 3/8 at 1031/2; Brooke Group fell 1/8 to 63/4; and Loew's fell 7/8 to 345/8. But RJR Nabisco rose again, adding 1/2 to 335/8.
Bonds rebounded slightly Friday, with the yield on the 30-year Treasury edging below 6.84 percent.
Stocks slid Thursday as that yield - a benchmark used to determine the interest charged on many corporate and consumer loans - rose to 6.86 percent amid news that Jeffrey Vinik, manager of Fidelity's mammoth Magellan Fund, had quit.
Vinik had been criticized for a big move into bonds, and many bond traders expect his successor to begin unloading some of the fund's Treasury holdings.
"The bond market overreacted Thursday, but the positive tone continues," said Bill Meehan, stock market analyst at Prudential Securities.
In economic news, the Commerce Department reported that orders of durable goods fell 1.9 percent to $166 billion in April, the third drop in four months, as declining aircraft orders offset an increase in cars and trucks.
The report is considered a key gauge of the nation's manufacturing sector, as an increase could lead to more jobs.
Manufacturing has been weak for months and recent reports remain mixed, but other areas of the economy are expanding moderately, including housing and retail sales. And while industrial employment has shrunk recently, other sectors have experienced job growth, prompting concerns about an inflationary increase in consumer spending.
"The long-term outlook here is still positive," said Cleland. "Inflationary pressures remain dormant and that's positive for long-term interest rates. Favorable interest rates and the (mutual fund) money flow continue to drive the market."
Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average rose 0.3 percent, Frankfurt's DAX index fell 0.7 percent, and London's FT-SE 100 rose 0.1 percent.