Stocks up, waiting for profit reports
NEW YORK -- Stocks posted slim gains Friday after some early weakness, but the buying was hesitant with the market holding such big gains before a crush of company profit reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average recovered from an early 60-point slide and closed 15.96 higher at 9,105.74, slightly more than 100 points from May 13's peak of 9,211.84. The blue-chip measure rose 80.48 for the week, bringing this year's gain to nearly 1,200 points, or 15.1 percent.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 5.77 to 1,164.33, about 2 points below Wednesday's closing record of 1,166.38. For the year, the S&P 500 is up 20.0 percent.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 3.22 to a record 1,943.04, extending 1998's gain to 23.7 percent
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 574.59 million shares as of 4 p.m., down sharply from 655.65 million Thursday.
The NYSE composite index rose 1.95 to 592.18, about 2 points below Wednesday's record of 594.35. The American Stock Exchange composite index rose 2.75 to 730.66.
Aging foundation donates
The CSRA Foundation on Aging donated $9,000 to the CSRA Community Foundation to establish a "field of interest" fund for aging concerns.
The donation allows the Community Foundation to make grants to the most appropriate programs within the field of aging.
"We were looking for the best use of the money for the aging population," said Dean Beasley, a member of the foundation on aging.
It is the first "interest fund" ever established locally, according to foundation Chairman Julian Osbon.
Other donors in the community interested in setting up similar funds are asked to contact the CSRA Community Foundation, he said.
Merger may force bigger selloff
BANGOR, Maine -- Bowater President Arnold M. Nemirow has indicated he is willing to sell all of the South Carolina-based paper company's Maine holdings instead of only one of its mills, analysts say.
Mr. Nemirow told investors and financial analysts this week in New York that he would consider selling all Great Northern Paper Co. holdings in Maine upon completion of Bowater's $2.5 billion purchase of Avenor Inc., a Montreal-based paper producer.
Shareholders will vote later this month on the Avenor deal. If approved, Bowater, based in Greenville, S.C., is expected to close the deal swiftly.
Tobacco deal talks begin again
NEW YORK -- A month after the Senate killed a $516 billion settlement with Big Tobacco, the industry is said to be discussing settling the remaining lawsuits from states with a deal that would be far less costly.
Analyst Gary Black of the investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., in a report released Thursday, said the settlement could involve a payment of $180 billion to $200 billion by the tobacco companies to the states to cover costs of treating sick smokers in exchange for dropping their claims.
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