Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Thursday, October 21, 1999

Dow off 94.67

NEW YORK -- Stocks wobbled to a mixed finish on Wall Street today, rebounding from steep losses wrought by IBM's warning that worries about the Year 2000 computer bug are hurting hardware sales. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 94.67 to close at 10,297.69. IBM accounted for nearly all of the decline.

Earlier in the session, the Dow had dipped 213 points.

Broader indicators also rallied late and ended mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 5.82 to 1,283.61, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 13.82 to 2,801.95.

Decliners beat advancers by a 5-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,875 down, 1,147 up and 476 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 988.59 million shares vs. 926.39 million yesterday. The NYSE composite dropped 2.50 to 591.29; the Russell 2000 rose 0.33 to 414.27; the American Stock Exchange index slipped 0.34 to 786.09.

The 30-year Treasury bond price fell 11/32, or $3.44 per $1,000 face amount; its yield climbed 3 basis points to 6.36 percent.

Stocks plunged at the start of trading today in a selloff attributed almost entirely to pessimism following IBM's disappointing forecast. The company said after the close of trading yesterday that potential buyers of IBM's network and database servers are postponing purchases until after the start of the new year, when concerns over Year 2000 computer bugs are fully resolved.

IBM's news robbed the market of the ebullience that drove the Dow 187.43 points higher, and the Nasdaq 99.95 points higher, on Wednesday. That rally was sparked nearly entirely by Microsoft Corp., which released earnings that soundly beat expectations.

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