Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Friday, December 31, 1999

Stocks mixed

Associated Press


NEW YORK - Stocks were flirting with new highs in a quiet half-session on Wall Street today as major indicators wrapped up an unprecedented fifth straight year of double-digit gains.

In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 27.50 at 11,480.36. The record close of 11,484.66 was set Wednesday.

Broader stock indicators were in record territory as the final hour of trading began. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 2.74 at 1,467.21, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 21.83 at 4,058.70.

As the trading year wound down, gains came to about 25 percent for the Dow, 84 percent for Nasdaq and the S&P 500 was up 19 percent. Volume was light as many Wall Street players started their New Year's weekend early. Those who were present were content to wait until the start of the new year to build major new positions.

Many investors are also anxious to evaluate any impact of the Year 2000 computer conversion before resuming active trading. Early signs were positive, with Japan, South Korea and Australia reporting no major disruptions as the new year rolled in.

U.S. markets were unperturbed by the latest political turmoil in Russia. President Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned, elevating Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to the presidency at least until elections are held in 90 days.

Russian investors celebrated the change, sending the stock market to a 15-month high before trading closed early because volume had exceeded daily limits.

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