Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Monday, December 14, 1998

Dow off 126

NEW YORK -- Earnings disappointments and weakening technology shares pushed stocks sharply lower today, extending the market's weeklong drop to nearly 400 points.

By the close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 126.16 to 8,695.60. The blue-chip index has fallen 374.87 points since Dec. 7.

Broader stock indicators, including the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index, also lost ground. A trading frenzy has pushed up the share prices of many high-tech stocks far beyond what many market watchers consider to be realistic levels.

The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 25.26 to 1,141.20 and the Nasdaq plunged 62.45 to 1,966.86.

Decliners outnumbered advancers by an 11-to-4 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 2,283 up, 828 down and 455 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 695.16 million shares vs. 681.39 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite index dropped 10.29 to 554.53, and the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 9.77 to 647.99.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was off 7.43 to 387.94.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 21/32 at 104 6/32, with its yield falling to 4.98 percent.

Stocks in general are ready for a breather, one market watcher noted. The markets have climbed steadily for weeks despite a stream of disappointing earnings reports.

"The market frankly was due for a correction," said Charles White, portfolio manager and president at Avatar Associates in New York. "Perhaps fundamentals are now catching up with reality."

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1.92 percent.

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