Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Thursday, February 4, 1999

Dow down 62

NEW YORK -- Stocks ended lower after a day of wide swings, as aggressive profit-taking in technology shares overwhelmed strength in industrial names. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62.31 points to close at 9,304.50.

The rout in technology shares send broad-market indexes tumbling. The Nasdaq plunged 83.34 points, or 3.34 percent, to 2,410.07. It was the third-largest point drop ever for the index.

The Dow erased a 91-point morning gain and briefly swung into positive territory in the afternoon, as the Federal Reserve signaled that it had no intention of raising interest rates. But the 31-point gain in the Dow couldn't hold as technology leader IBM Corp. was pounded, responsible for nearly 24 points of the Dow's loss.

Decliners beat advancers by a 9-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,069 up, 1,925 down and 550 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 855.27 million shares vs. 873 million yesterday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 23.58, or 1.85 percent, to 1,248.49. The NYSE composite index fell 7.53 to 591.05, and the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 6.15 to 707.12. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 5.95 to 417.79.

The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond was off 13/32 point, or $4.06 per $1,000 in face value, by late afternoon, while its yield rose to 5.29 percent from 5.25 percent late yesterday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The stock market couldn't hold up without technology shares, which have been the key to its advances, said Larry Wachtel, analyst at Prudential Securities.

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