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6-Year-Old Bull Takes a Breather, Dow Drops But Remains Above 6,000

October 15, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks retreated from record heights today, but the Dow Jones industrial average remained above 6,000 for a second straight day despite a grueling ride.

The Dow, an index of 30 blue-chip stocks, rose 40.62 Monday to 6,010.00, its first close above 6,000. It rose more than 30 additional points in the early going, then slid more than 70 points as traders sold to cash in on the rally and wondered how much strength the aging bull still has.

By the end of trading, the Dow had recovered much of the lost ground, finishing down 5.22 at 6,004.78. Some broad market indicators also fell, but the Nasdaq composite indexes improved on Monday’s record close.

The market’s runup to record heights is credited to new hopes for sustained, noninflationary economic growth that will continue to drive corporate earnings higher. Individual investors, who have poured billions of dollars into stocks, also have kept the rally alive, despite fears they would bail out if stocks started slipping.

``I’m investing for five to 10 years. I’m not concerned where it is tomorrow,″ Mark Teplitsky of Westborough, Mass., said Monday as he waited for a tour of the New York Stock Exchange.

Many stock market watchers date the start of the latest bull market at Oct. 11, 1990, when the Dow ended a dry spell and began rising from 2,365.10. It closed above 5,000 on Nov. 21, 1995 and rose to 5,778.00 on May 22, before rough sailing set in.

By July 16, the Dow tumbled as low as 5,182.31 during trading, a drop of 10 percent from its May peak. In that volatile session, the average plunged more than 167 points and then rebounded to close with a gain of just over nine.

By mid-September, Wall Street’s best-known indicator was setting new records.