NEW YORK -- Stocks fell today on Wall Street, led by technology and banking shares, as Asia's economic crisis continued to erode profits at U.S. multinational companies.
Dow off 70.87
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 70.87 points to close at 7,978.79, having reclaimed some of its loss of more than 100 points. Broad market indexes were lower as well.
Decliners led advancers by more than 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,422 up, 3,030 down, and 1,085 unchanged. NYSE volume was 601.08 million shares vs. 538.42 million yesterday.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock list fell 5.99 to 969.79, and the NYSE composite index dropped 3.16 to 507.70. The Nasdaq composite index declined 23.94 to 1,596.61, and the American Stock Exchange composite index lost 2.10 to 669.45. The Russell 2000 index lost 5.35 points to close at 432.81
The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond was up 19/32 point, or $5.94 per $1,000 in face value, by late afternoon, while its yield fell to 6.07 percent from 6.11 percent late yesterday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.
"We're starting to see a clearer picture of the after-shocks or fallout from the currency crisis in Asia," said First Albany Corp.'s market strategist, Hugh Johnson. "Investors were generally worried that the crisis would affect the U.S. economy and earnings, and now that concern is focused on individual companies."
The concern about U.S. vulnerability to problems in Asia is coming at an inopportune time for stock investors, because valuations on Wall Street are already very high, said Larry Wachtel, market strategist at Prudential Securities.