NEW YORK -- Stock prices pulled back yesterday for the second day in a row, with investors apparently sounding a note of caution after a giddy ride in recent weeks.
Also weighing on the market was a computer problem that prevented the main NASDAQ indexes from being calculated for most of the day.
Traders knew there was weakness in smaller stocks -- it was determined that the NASDAQ composite dropped a hefty 14.51 points, or 2.3 percent, to 604.87 -- but the uncertainty was compounded by the absence of firm numbers. Analysts said this added to the drop in other indexes, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 30.64, or nearly 1 percent, to 3,223.39.
A software problem prevented the NASDAQ from calculating and posting changes on the composite, industrial and 100-stock indexes. However, trades were being executed and investors were able to do business.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was a heavy 218.8 million shares, up from 180.9 million Monday. The Big Board composite shed 2.03 points to close at 227.64, with declining issues outnumbering those that rose by 1,195-to-578.
The Standard & Poor's index of 500 stocks fell 3.72 points, to 412.64, while the American Stock Exchange index dropped 4.82 points, to 410.51. The Russell 2,000 index of smaller issues fell 3.35 points, to 200.95.
"We are starting to see the correction take place," said Paul J. Kronlokken, of Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood in Minneapolis. "The market has taken an awfully big step of late, without having taken a step back."