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STOCK PRICES HEAD HIGHER LATE IN DAY

Stocks were ahead late this afternoon, except for computer issues.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 42.97 at to 8,156.41 at 3 p.m., led by General Motors Corp.

The Nasdaq Composite index was ahead 0.61 to 1570.19.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange at 3 p.m. totaled 371.17 million shares, down from 429.42 at the same hour on Friday.

GM rose 1 1 5/1 6 to 58 1 3/1 6 after hourly workers at a Michigan transmission plant ratified a new local contract, ending a strike.

The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond fell 4 basis points to 6.41 percent.

Computer stocks fell after analyst Andrew J. Neff at Bear, Stearns & Co. cut his investment rating on Dell Computer Corp. to "attractive" from "buy."

Dell, which split its stock 2 for 1 today, fell 1 1/2 to 80..

Compaq Computer fell 3 5/8 to 132, International Business Machines lost 1 1/8 to 105 7/8 , and Gateway 2000 fell 3/8 to 40 1/8 . Hewlett-Packard . bucked the trend, rising 1 5/8 to 67 1/8 .

Aluminum prices climbed to a 19-month high in London after economic reports in Japan and the U.S. Japan said vehicle exports rose for the 13th straight month, and the U.S. durable goods report on Friday showed an increase in commercial aircraft orders. Alcoa rose 2 3/1 6 to 86 1/2 , Alcan Aluminium rose 2 1/1 6 to 38 7/1 6 and Reynolds Metals rose 1 1/2 to 75 3/8 .

Fertilizer companies IMC Global Inc. and Freeport McMoRan Inc. agreed to combine in a $800 million deal. Freeport-McMoRan rose 4 3/1 6 to 30 3/4 , while IMC Global fell 1 1/1 6 to 32 1 1/1 6..

Chips & Technologies Inc. rose 3 to 17 on news that Intel Corp. has agreed to buy the specialty semiconductor company for $17.50 a share in cash.

Some 576 options to buy Chips & Technologies next month at 15 were purchased Friday, twice as many as had traded on any previous day. Those options rose fourfold in value today.

Intel fell 1/1 6 to 89 1/8 .

Cigna Corp. jumped 6 1 3/1 6 to 197 1 3/1 6 on news it agreed to sell its life and annuity business to Lincoln National Corp. for $1.4 billion. Lincoln National rose 3/8 to 67 1 3/1 6.

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