Slumping oil stocks drag Dow down 9.73

November 04, 1992|By Bloomberg Business News

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks declined yesterday, led by a slump in international oil issues and jitters tied to the presidential election.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.73, to 3252.48, with Chevron Corp., Texaco Inc. and Exxon Corp. accounting for much of the slide.

Declining common stocks outnumbered advancing issues by about 8-to-7 on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading was active, with about 210 million shares changing hands on the Big Board.

Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.83, to 419.92, the NASDAQ Combined Composite index declined 2.98, to 604.59, and the Dow Jones transportation average slumped 8.66, to 1357.35.

The decline in U.S. stocks was constrained somewhat by relief that the presidential election process is finally over, traders said. Investors were convinced Bill Clinton would win the election, but "everybody's waiting for the results," James Andrews, first vice president in equity trading at Janney Montgomery Scott, said yesterday.

"People realize there's a lot of unsettling questions even with the election out of the way," said Thomas Heck, head trader at Mabon Securities.

Concerns about the economy, high unemployment and increasing tensions in the former Soviet Union are problems the stock market will face over the next several months, Mr. Heck said.

"The possible overthrow of [Russian President Boris] Yeltsin is a real concern," said Richard Ciardullo, director of trading at Eagle Asset Management.

Former Communists and ultra-nationalists are calling for Mr. Yeltsin's resignation. Simultaneously, Mr. Yeltsin decided against the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic states.

"The next U.S. president . . . will be faced with a heap of problems in Russia," Mr. Ciardullo said. "This is a very serious situation, given the size and military capabilities of Russia, and // one that has big implications for the stock market."

International oil stocks fell the most yesterday after analysts at Oppenheimer & Co. and Prudential Securities issued negative comments about Chevron Corp., Pennzoil Co., Atlantic Richfield Co. and AmocoCorp.

Chevron declined $2.375, to $68.50; Pennzoil fell $1.50, to $55; Atlantic Richfield dropped $2.875, to $113.125; and Amoco declined $1.875, to $50.25.

General Motors Corp., RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., Philip Morris Cos. Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Novell Inc. were the five most actively traded issues on the U.S. Composite.

GM, the most actively traded U.S. stock for a second straight day, gained 37.5 cents, to $32.25, on optimism that Monday's management shake-up and dividend cut will foster a turnaround in the automaker's fortunes.

RJR Nabisco advanced 12.5 cents, to $8.75, after Lehman Brothers added the stock to its "buy" list.

Chrysler Corp. declined 37.5 cents, to $27.125, after Wertheim Schroder lowered its rating to "neutral" from "attractive."

Tele-Communications fell 25 cents, to $16.75. Standard & Poor's placed bonds issued by the company's SCI Holdings unit on CreditWatch with "negative" implications.

Unisys Corp. rose 12.5 cents, to $8.75, after the company said it expects to record a $175 million gain from an accounting change.

Burlington Industries Equity Inc. fell $2.75, to $11.50. The company reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings.

Travelers Corp. declined 12.5 cents, to $23. The company reported a big third-quarter loss after setting aside $240 million to cover losses related to Hurricane Andrew and $442 million to pay for a restructuring.

Sanifill Inc. rose $1, to $15, on news that Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. added the garbage collection and disposal company to the "buy" list.

Berlitz International Inc. slumped $2.625, to $19.625, on reports that its merger partner, Fukutake Publishing Co., wants to renegotiate merger terms because third-quarter preliminary earnings are lower than expected.

Healthcare Compare Corp. fell $3.625, to $29, on concerns that third-quarter earnings were below expectations. The company earned $7.9 million, or 22 cents a share, up from $4.6 million, or 13 cents, last year.

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