Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

Dow sinks 124

NEW YORK -- Blue-chip stocks fell sharply today on concerns about some less-than-stellar domestic earnings reports and Brazil's fragile economy. Broad market indexes gave up moderate gains in the final hour of trading to end significantly lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 124.35 to close at 9,200.23. The Dow climbed as much as 61 points in the first 30 minutes of trading but stumbled in mid-morning and never regained its footing.

Decliners led advancers by a 9-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,073 up, 1,953 down and 542 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 893 million shares vs. 877.1 million yesterday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 9.12 to 1,243.19, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index declined 26.27 to 2,407.14. The NYSE composite index fell 3.37 to 588.08, but the American Stock Exchange composite index added 0.83 to 707.19. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 4.21 points to end at 421.12.

The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond was unchanged in late trading with its yield steady at yesterday's 5.13 percent.

On Wall Street, traders and analysts repeatedly expressed concerns that the upside leadership is becoming more narrowly confined to technology stocks.

Investors are buying "the same old stuff, which is technology, technology, and technology," said Bob Dickey, a technical analyst at Dain Rauscher Wessels in Minneapolis. "Although that's a good leading group for the market, it's uncomfortable that it's the only game in town."

U.S. financial stocks fell sharply after Brazil's real opened sharply lower against the dollar.

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