Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Dow off 108.9

NEW YORK -- Investors brushed off a government report that showed little evidence of rising inflation, driving stocks lower today. The dollar's continued weakness against the Japanese yen also undercut stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 108.91, or 1 percent, to close at 10,801.42. The index had tumbled from an early gain of 103 points, with the selloff gaining momentum in the final hour.

Broader stock indicators also closed lower, especially the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index. After rising yesterday, the Nasdaq fell 54.12, or 1.9 percent, to 2,814.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 18.37, or 1.4 percent, 1,317.97.

Decliners beat advancers by a 3-to-2 margin with 1,758 down, 1,183 down and 544 unchanged. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 788.13 million shares vs. 727.22 million yesterday. The NYSE composite fell 6.64 to 608.47; the American Stock Exchange index dropped 4.00 to 797.48; the Russell 2000 index slipped 1.91 at 436.33.

In New York, the dollar was trading at 104.23 yen, down from 105.79 yen late yesterday and the lowest level against the Japanese currency in more than three years. Although the dollar has held up well against European currencies, its slide against the yen has added to the pressure on stocks. Investors fear a weaker dollar because it makes imports more expensive, setting the stage for inflation.

The inflation-sensitive bond market fluctuated wildly, with yields on 30-year Treasury bonds dropping to 6.10 percent after the release of the consumer price report, compared with yesterday's late rate of 6.12 percent.

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