Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Thursday, August 19, 1999

Dow down 27.5

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Stocks slumped again today as a weakening dollar pushed bonds lower and gave investors another reason to sell shares ahead of next week's expected rise in interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.54 to close at 10,963.89, after having dropped as much as 118 points in earlier trading. The Dow fell 125.70 yesterday amid interest rate worries.

Broader stock indicators were also down today. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 9.25 at 1,323.59, and the Nasdaq composite was down 36.30 at 2,621.43.

Decliners beat advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,370 up, 1,610 down and 538 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 677.37 million shares vs. 681.30 million yesterday. The NYSE composite index fell 3.29 to 620.36 but the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 1.15 to 785.07. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 0.33 to 432.77.

The 30-year Treasury bond, meanwhile, fell 10/32, or $3.13 per $1,000 face amount. Its yield rose 2 basis points to 6.02 percent. Yields on two-year notes fell 1 basis point to 5.63 percent.

The Commerce Department reported today that rising imports contributed to a 16.3 percent increase in the U.S. trade deficit, which totaled $24.6 billion in June. After the report, the dollar dropped to 111.4 yen, its lowest level since January. A weaker dollar can increase the costs of imported goods, adding to inflation, and it can hurt stocks because it makes U.S. securities less appealing to foreign investors. Of course, the widening trade deficit also indicates companies are doing well at selling goods overseas.

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