Dow jumps, but some indexes sag Financial stocks strong

computer shares weak

March 02, 1996|By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday, as expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates helped bank and financial shares rally, offsetting a slump in Compaq Computer Corp. and other technology stocks.

As they have every day this week, share prices took cues from the bond market. Thursday's drop in yields spurred hopes that falling borrowing costs would spur economic growth by year-end and send corporate profits higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose for the first time in four days, climbing 50.94 to 5,536.56, seesawing in a 100-point range. But the Nasdaq composite index, full of computer and software shares, fell 13.99 to 1,086.06 -- its biggest decline since Jan. 15, when it dropped 1.95 percent.

For the week, the 30-stock Dow industrial average fell 93.93 points, or 1.7 percent. It had closed at a record the previous Friday.

Tumbling computer stocks accounted for yesterday's heaviest volume. Compaq, down $9.125 at $41.50 in trading of 22.7 million shares, headed the list. The world's biggest personal computer maker said it would cut prices to boost sluggish demand. Also, first-quarter profits will fall short of estimates, Compaq said.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,413 stocks rose and 908 issues rose. Some 471.4 million shares changed hands, swamping the three-month daily average of 411.9 million shares.

Among broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks fell 0.83 to 324.1; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, dropped 21.06 to 6,328.31; the American Stock Exchange market value index jumped 1.44 to 563.44; and the S&P 400 mid-cap index fell 2.07 to 225.8.

The Morgan Stanley index of 30 consumer stocks rallied 4.95 to 302.05 as Procter & Gamble, the maker of Pampers and Spic and Span, spurted $2.625 to $84.625. Colgate-Palmolive Co. surged $4.75 to $83 after an FDA panel recommended approval of its "Colgate Total" toothpaste, which contains a bacteria-fighting ingredient not used in any other toothpaste sold in the United States.

The S&P computer stock index slid 13.16 to 207.97. Hewlett-Packard Co. fell $6 to $94.75; International Business Machines Corp. fell $4.25 to $118.375; and Dell Computer Corp. dropped $4.375 to $30.

BankAmerica Corp. gained $3 to $74.25; Citicorp rallied $1.625 to $79.625; and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. gained $4.125 to $86.625.

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