Dow rises to 4,872.9 in mixed trading Investors favor shares in consumer products


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday as investors, concerned that the Federal Reserve will put off lowering interest rates until next year, dumped technology, financial and economically sensitive companies for consumer product shares.

Gains by consumer-product companies Coca-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co., which makes Cheers detergent, Folgers coffee and dozens of other household products, helped the Dow Jones industrial average rise 2.53 points, to 4,872.9, its fourth straight record and 56th high this year.

Earlier, the Dow dipped 22.4, to 4847.97, pulled down by losses in economically sensitive United Technologies Inc., Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

The Morgan Stanley cyclical index of 30 stocks dropped 1.44, or 0.4 percent, to 336.98. The firm's consumer product index rose 1.31, or 0.5 percent, to 273.26.

The breadth of the Dow's gains were narrow. Some 1,294 shares slipped and 955 rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which measures the broader market, sank 0.42, to 592.30. Financial and computer-related issues slumped, while oil, beverage and household product companies climbed.

The Nasdaq composite index, which includes Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp. and dozens of other technology companies, fell 5.41, to 1,058.46. A computer problem shut down the Nasdaq stock market for 15 minutes at the end of the session.

The Russell 2000 index of small companies fell 0.72, to 303.60; the American Stock Exchange market value index slipped 0.57, to 530.43; and the Wilshire 5000 index sank 9.124, to 5,854.56.

On the New York Stock Exchange, about 292 million shares changed hands in light trading.

Losses in semiconductor companies widened amid speculation that Korean companies are lowering prices on certain DRAM chips, which would force U.S. chip makers to do the same, traders said. Investors are concerned that falling prices for computer chips will stunt earnings growth.

Intel Corp. shares dropped $1.125, to $67.125, and Applied Materials Inc.'s stock fell $2, to $49.875.

Among technology stocks that lost, Sun Microsystems Inc. retreated $5, to $84.875, after gaining 7 percent last week. It was among companies making products for on-line computer services that soared last week. Optimism grew that earnings of Internet-related companies will grow faster than expected.

After adding 3.7 percent last week, the Interactive Week Internet index fell 5.32, or 2.1 percent, to 249.99.

Apple Computer Inc. shares bucked the trend, gaining $1.125, to $40.875, after a report that the personal computer maker shipped the most PCs in the United States during the third quarter.

Oil companies, meanwhile, recovered from a two-day slide. The Standard & Poor's oil index jumped 3.25, to 483.98, after peaking at 485.45 Wednesday. Exxon Corp. shares rose 87.5 cents, to $76.375, and Mobil Corp.'s stock climbed to $2, to $106.125.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.