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Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Tech stocks fall

Associated Press


NEW YORK -- Technology stocks fell sharply today as investors collected profits from a recent run to record levels. A rally in oil stocks helped lift the Dow Jones industrials, but investors found little reason to explore other sectors of the market.

In midday trading on Wall Street, the Nasdaq composite index was down 110.21 at 4,308.34, while the Dow Jones industrial average was up 30.71 at 10,550.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was off 8.31 at 1,381.63. The Russell 2000 index fell 6.21 to 533.73. Decliners led advancers by a 5-to-4 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 475.41 million shares, ahead of yesterday's early pace.

The price of the Treasury's 30-year bond was down 1/4 point, or $2.50 per $1,000 in face value at midday; its yield rose to 6.24 percent from 6.22 percent yesterday.

Technology stocks fell in the latest show of nervousness from investors who are worried that the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates this year as it works to keep inflation from accelerating. The Fed has raised rates four times since last June, and has seen little sign that the economy's growth has slowed. Because higher interest rates can cut into corporate profits, investors have been favoring stocks of companies whose profits are growing rapidly -- namely, tech stocks. But some of those favorites were lower today as investors locked in profits. "Markets are currently going through a period of trial, where upward pressure on rates continue to take their toll on most financial instruments," Dunvegan Associates analyst A. C. Moore said.

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