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Wall St Extends Rally on Technology Strength; Nears 6,500

NEW YORK, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Share prices ended sharply higher driven by gains in technologies and extending the autumn surge that has sent the Dow average up nearly 500 points in the last six weeks, Market News Service reported Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended at its best levels of the session, up 53.29 to a record 6,471.76, while the S&P-500 index rose 5.93 to a record 748.68. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was an extremely heavy 525.2 million shares, with 1,496 advancing, 959 declining, and 841 unchanged.

"Business as usual, just another screaming rally today," said Jim Benning, trader at BT Brokerage. Most participants, including Benning, have attributed the force of the rally to the small investor who continues to post regular investments into retirement accounts.

"To make money you have to be in the stock market. A lot of people have to invest for their retirement, and they realize that bond returns are insignificant," Benning said.

Though many participants are concerned that current gains may deflate the market's traditional Santa Claus rally, Benning is more optimistic, saying that tax-loss selling will likely be light given the scarcity of losing issues and predicting that year-end wage bonuses, bolstered by record levels of corporate profits, will likely be funneled directly into stocks.

Applied Materials jumped 6 5/8 at 38 5/8 as analysts upgraded the semiconductor equipment maker despite a sharp fall in its latest profits and sales, saying the worst is likely over for the company and for the semiconductor sector in general.

Dealers said the rise in Applied Materials helped boost technology companies across the board. IBM resumed its march northward, up 4 3/8 at 158 1/2 and followed by a host of semiconductor stocks, including Intel up 3 1/2 at 122 3/8, Micron up 1 5/8 at 32 3/8, Motorola up 7/8 at 54 3/4, and Texas Instruments up 2 3/4 at 56 3/4.

Other technology gainers included Hewlett-Packard up 1 1/8 at 54, Cisco Systems up 1 5/8 at 67 5/8, and even Apple Computer, which gained 3/4 to 25 1/4.

Sherwin-Williams fell 5/8 at 56 1/8 after agreeing to acquire Thompson Minwax, the stain and varnish maker, for $830 million in cash, while Michigan-based Standard Federal Bancorp fell 1 5/8 to 56 3/8 after the nation's seventh largest savings and loan received a $59 per share acquisition offer, or $1.9 billion, from Dutch bank ABN AMRO.

Conrail rose 1 to 95 7/8 and CSX rose 5/8 to 46 1/4 as the companies successfully dodge legal restraints on their merger, though analysts say they may still face resistance from shareholders, many of whom have said they prefer Norfolk Southern's richer bid for the company.

Strength in stocks came despite bonds, which weakened slightly during the session, pressured by profit-taking following their sharp rally over the last six weeks. The 30-year bond fell 10/32 at 100 25/32 yielding 6.431%.

SOURCE: Market News Service
 -0- 11/22/96


/NOTE TO EDITORS: Market commentary from Market News Service is transmitted on a daily basis by PR Newswire./

/CONTACT: Mark Pender of Market News, email: Markybarky(at)AOL.com

CO: Market News Service ST: New York IN: FIN SU:

MG -- NYMARKET -- 5986 11/22/96 16:46 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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Date:Nov 22, 1996
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