NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell yesterday on the busiest day at the New York Stock Exchange since its founding in 1792.
High volume, triggered by the quarterly expiration of options and futures, came as Micron Technology Inc. reported earnings that, while doubling, fell short of analysts' expectations for the quarter ended Nov. 30, and Apple Computer Inc. said it wasn't selling as many computers as expected this Christmas season.
While computer-related shares fell out of favor, computers helped traders plow through orders to buy and sell about 636.8 million shares, eclipsing a record set during the 1987 stock market crash.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5.42, to 5,176.73, led by losses in International Business Machines Corp., Caterpillar Inc. and Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. The 30-stock average rose 0.39 percent for the week.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.58, to 616.34, its second straight decline since closing at a record 621.69 Wednesday. Shares of oil, drug and railroad companies contributed to the drop. About 1,244 stocks fell and 1,121 stocks rose on the Big Board.
The Nasdaq composite index, filled with benchmark technology stocks such as Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., fell 7.72 to 1,030.47, bringing its two-day decline to 2.5 percent. Among the decliners, Intel shed $1.75, to $58.25; 3Com Corp. dropped $1.1875, to $36.9375; Applied Materials Inc. fell $1, to $42; and Dell Computer Corp. fell 75 cents, to $31.50.
Micron's stock tumbled $5.125, to $44.875 as more than 13 million shares trading, almost double the stock's three-month daily average. The company said prices for its memory chips have fallen in recent weeks, setting off a slide in other semiconductor stocks.
Shares of Texas Instruments Inc. dropped $3.75, to $49; LSI Logic Corp. dropped $1.625, to $32.625; Xilinx Inc. slid $1.25, to $24.75; and Maxim Integrated Products Inc. fell $1, to $29.
Yesterday's volume was almost double 1995's daily average of 345.6 million shares. The record amount exceeded the previous all-time high of 608 million shares set Oct. 20, 1987, the day after the Dow industrials rebounded had dived 508 points.
Citicorp rose $1.875 yesterday, to $65.875; Bankers Trust New York Corp. gained 75 cents, to $68.875; and Bank of New York Co. climbed $1.75, to $48.Yesterday's most active stocks in U.S. composite trading were Kmart Corp., Intel, Centocor Inc., Micron Technology and LM Ericsson.
Centocor shares shot up 59 percent, gaining $9.75 to reach $24, after surprisingly successful tests on the drugmaker's lifesaving heart medication. Centocor said late Thursday that its ReoPro drug dramatically lowered the risk of heart attacks and death in people getting balloon angioplasties to unclog diseased heart arteries.