Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Dow up 2.21

Associated Press

NEW YORK - A barrage of conflicting signals on interest rates kept investors off balance today, leaving the Dow industrials little changed while most stocks ended with modest losses.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.21 to close at 11,036.34. The Dow had risen more than 50 points in earlier trading. Broader stock indicators were lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 6.30 to 1,344.15, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 28.52 to 2,808.74.

Decliners beat advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,761 down, 1,168 up and 594 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 783.50 million shares vs. 712.42 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite fell 1.84 to close at 621.87; the American Stock Exchange composite slipped 1.28 to 792.30; while the Russell 2000 index fell 2.34 to 435.90.

The U.S. Treasury's 30-year bond gained for the first time in three days, climbing 2/32, or 621/2 cents per $1,000 in face value; its yield was steady at 6.07 percent. Yields on two-year notes dropped 1 basis point to 5.65 percent.

The fear of higher interest rates, which has rattled stock and bond markets all summer, dominated trading today. Stocks initially tumbled today after the Bank of England increased its base lending rate for the first time in more than a year, following a string of seven cuts. But the market rebounded as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan delivered a speech to the Gerald R. Ford Foundation in Grand Rapids, Mich. While Greenspan discussed a wide range of topics, from the benefits of free market economies to the need for fairness in business dealings, he did not discuss U.S. interest rates or inflation.

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