Stock prices rose on a late round of buying in the blue chips Wednesday, despite news of the first increase in the prime lending rate since 1984.
Word of the prime rate increase came after the close of trading Tuesday. In the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's trading, the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials fell about 27 points. Computer-based program buying halted the initial slide.Sentiment gradually improved on reports the Reagan administration was planning an emergency meeting with Japanese officials to discuss the trade dispute between the two countries. Fears of an all-out trade war were largely responsible for Monday's decline of 57.39 points in the DJIA.
The DJIA closed Wednesday with a gain of 11.36 points to 2316.05. The transportation average rose 5.46 points to 925.15, but the utilities index declined 2.30 points to 210.39.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange rose to 183.51 million shares from 171.76 million shares Tuesday.
Interest-rate-sensitive issues, including utilities, were among the biggest decliners. Pacific Gas & Electric declined 1 7/8 to 22 1/4 in late trading and was leading the Big Board's most-active list. The company announced late Tuesday a change in the method of accounting for its Diablo Canyon nuclear plant that will reduce net income by about $470 million this year.
Purolator Courier rose 5 1/2 to 40 3/8 in late trading. E.F. Hutton said it would extend the expiration date of its offer to buy Purolator for $35 a share. Emery Air Freight entered a competing bid of $40 a share.