Dow plummets after early gain

January 30, 1992|By Robert Hurtado | Robert Hurtado,New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Stock prices swung in a wide arc yesterday, ending with a sizable drop on fading hopes of further interest-rate cuts. The Dow Jones industrial average, which posted solid gains earlier in the day, plunged after remarks on the economy by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

The Dow ended the day at 3,224.96, down 47.18 points, or nearly 1.5 percent. But that was 74 points shy of the day's high, the biggest one-day spread since a 120-point swing on Nov. 15, 1990, when the market unraveled during a period when futures and options were expiring.

The morning began in weakness as foreign investors sold and disappeared, but then prices moved up steadily through midday, until Mr. Greenspan, speaking before the Senate Banking Committee, gave the market a large dose of disappointment, traders said.

He said that while the economy showed no signs of revival, recent interest rate cuts should be sufficient, and that he was not inclined to relax credit again soon. Traders noted that he had said these things before, and they remarked it was more a disappointment than a surprise. After President Bush's State of the Union address, many investors were expecting a shift by the Fed.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was heavy, at 249 million shares, up from 217.2 million Tuesday, with losing issues outpacing gainers by 1,054 to 653. The Big Board composite closed at 226.64, down 2.31.

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