Dow down 14.7Associated Press
NEW YORK - Stocks drifted to a mixed finish today, with the Nasdaq composite index emerging from a session-long slump to close slightly higher. Blue-chip stocks played the opposing role, giving up early gains to finish lower.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14.68 to close at 11,391.08.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.94 to 3,975.38, its 59th record close of 1999. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 1.25 to 1,457.09.
Decliners led advancers by a 4-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,775 down, 1,324 up and 443 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 724.24 million shares vs. 734 million on Thursday. U.S. financial markets were closed Friday in observance of Christmas.
The NYSE composite index slipped 1.82 to 642.24; the American Stock Exchange composite dropped 2.80 to 843.48; the Russell 2000 index rose 2.03 to 484.46.
The price of the Treasury's 30-
year bond was up 1/4 point, or $2.50 per $1,000 in face value; its yield fell to 6.46 percent from 6.49 percent Thursday, when long-term bond yields rose to their highest level in more than two years.
With market averages at or near record levels, analysts expect many stocks to hold their gains into the new year as money managers scramble to add winners to their portfolios and investors put off profit-taking until the start of 2000 to avoid tax penalties.
"All the major bets have already been laid for the year, with only some minor position shifting in preparation for next week taking place," said Brian G. Belski, chief investment strategist at George K. Baum & Co. in Kansas City, Mo.
Tech stocks showed some weakness today. EToys dropped after an analyst cut her rating on the stock.