Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Thursday, January 21, 1999

Dow loses 71.8

NEW YORK -- Stock prices fell sharply today on a fierce sell-off in Internet-related shares and concerns about Brazil.

At the close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 71.83 at 9,264.08. The Dow fell as low as 9,228.55, down nearly 103 points.

On a percentage basis, broad market indexes were off much more sharply. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 21.46 to 1,235.16, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 70.77 to 2,344.72.

Decliners led advancers by a 7-to-4 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,127 up, 1,930 down and 484 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 870.4 million shares vs. 899.21 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite fell 8.06 to 588.03, and the American Stock Exchange index dropped 7.38 to 704.99. The Russell 2000 index lost 6.57 to 424.05.

The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond rose 5/8 point, or $6.25 per $1,000 in face value, while its yield fell to 5.13 percent from 5.17 percent yesterday.

Internet stocks opened weaker as sellers moved in at the opening bell to shed some of these high-flyers and book profits. The selling intensified after Barton Biggs, global investment strategist at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, warned in Tokyo that the spectacular rally in Internet stocks "will come to a very bad end."

This afternoon Joseph Battipaglia, chief investment strategist at Gruntal & Co., chimed in with his own warning. In an interview with CNBC, Battipaglia said, "There is market risk in the Internet stocks right now." He said investors are now selling Internet stocks just as indiscriminately as they bought them earlier.

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