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The stock market headed higher today as traders took a confident

March 20, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market headed higher today as traders took a confident view of the impending ″triple witching hour.″

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, which hit record highs in each of the past three sessions, rose 8.24 to 2,307.81 in the first half hour of trading.

Gainers outnumbered losers by more than 2 to 1 in the early tally of New York Stock Exchange-listed issues, with 729 up, 328 down and 478 unchanged.

Volume on the Big Board came to 26.68 million shares as of 10 a.m. on Wall Street.

Today’s close marks the last trading in a set of expiring options and futures on stock indexes.

This quarterly occasion in the past has often been accompanied by wide swings in stock prices as professionals engaged in computer-program trading complete their maneuvers.

Until a few days ago, the speculation was that today’s witching hour might bring a selloff in the stock market.

But by late Thursday, expectations seemed to have shifted, with market participants looking for an uneventful or even positive effect.

Among actively traded blue chips, International Business Machines gained 3/ 8 to 147 3/8 ; American Telephone & Telegraph was up 1/4 at 23 3/8 , and Exxon slipped 1/8 to 84 3/8 .

The NYSE’s composite index of all its listed common stocks rose .50 to 167.78. On the American Stock Exchange, the market value index was up .85 at 338.32.

On Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 12.64 to 2,299.57, stretching its gain over the last three sessions to 51.13 points.

Advancing issues slightly outnumbered declines on the NYSE, with 809 up, 769 down and 387 unchanged. Big Board volume totaled 166.12 million shares, against 198.14 million in the previous session.

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