Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Monday, January 4, 1999

Dow up 2.84

NEW YORK -- Stocks erased substantial early gains this afternoon as investors, made nervous by a warning from a Federal Reserve official that the economy could not continue to grow at its current pace, sold their holdings and took profits.

In the first trading session of 1999, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.84 at 9,184.27. The index had gained as much as 168.64 to 9,350.07 this morning, threatening to challenge its record close of 9,374.27 last Nov. 23.

Advancers led decliners by a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,746 up, 1,447 down and 407 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 875.2 million shares, vs. 726.14 million Thursday.

Broader stock indexes turned mixed this afternoon after a strong morning. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 1.13 to 1,228.10, but the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 15.36 to 2,208.05.

The NYSE composite index fell 1.69 to 594.12; the American Stock Exchange composite index dropped 5.38 to 683.61; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 0.70 to 421.26.

The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond was down 28/32 point, or $4.69 per $1,000 in face value, around midday, while its yield rose to 5.15 percent from 5.09 percent on Thursday.

Stock investors retreated today following a speech by Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Jack Guynn. He told the Atlanta Rotary Club that the economy's recent performance is exceptional, and that "consumers, businesses, investors and policymakers should not proceed as though" it could keep growing at its current pace. "Such a delusion could have real repercussions for the U.S. economy."

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