Dow off 5 points, but broader market advances


October 30, 1992|By Bloomberg Business News

NEW YORK -- Blue-chip stocks fell yesterday, but broader market averages rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 5.13, to 3,246.27, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.73, to 420.86. Advancing stocks exceeded declining issues by 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange. The NASDAQ Combined Composite index rose 4.44, to 605.83.

Trading was active as more than 200 million shares changed hands on the Big Board for the ninth time in 11 sessions.

"The election debate is keeping a lid on stock prices," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment strategist at First Albany Corp. "People are trying to figure out what a Bill Clinton victory means to the stock and bond markets in the very short term."

The latest polls show that President Bush is gaining ground on Mr. Clinton. A CNN/USA Today poll said Mr. Bush is only 2 percentage points behind Mr. Clinton.

The poll helped boost Treasury bond prices. The 30-year bond rose more than 1/4 point, but it has fallen 3 points in the past three weeks on concerns that Mr. Clinton, if elected, would initiate a fiscal stimulus package that would raise the budget deficit. Treasury bond prices also gained on news suggesting that employment remains in the doldrums. First-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 8,000, to 375,000, in the week that ended Oct. 17.

International oil stocks fell the most. The decline was triggered by British Petroleum Plc, which said the Cusiana oil field in Colombia holds less oil than analysts thought it did. British Petroleum, Total SA and Triton Energy Corp. are partners in developing the oil field.

British Petroleum declined 75 cents, to $44.375, Triton plunged $4.125, to $38.50, and Total's American depositary receipts fell 25 cents, to $23.125.

Telefonos de Mexico rose $1.75, to $50.375, after the company reported third-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' estimates. The company reported profits of $1.17 per ADR, compared with analysts' expectations of $1.13 per ADR.

Marriott Corp. fell 37.5 cents, to $19.875, after five shareholders sued the company. The investors allege that the hotel chain violated securities laws when it said it would split into two companies.

Digital Equipment slumped $1.75, to $33.25. The company said it plans to close two plants, leading to the elimination of 670 jobs.

Paramount Communications Inc. slid 37.5 cents, to $43, after Brandon Tartikoff abruptly resigned, for personal reasons, as chairman of Paramount Pictures.

American Telephone & Telegraph declined 37.5 cents, to $43.875, after the company announced plans to invest $402 million in a Trans-Pacific fiber-optic cable network.

Tokos Medical Corp. rose $3, to $21. The company appeared before a Food and Drug Administration panel to review results of a drug used to help forestall delivery of babies in women who enter preterm labor.

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