Maryland stocks tumble T. Rowe Price falls 11.6%

Bankers to grocers, most all take a hit

October 28, 1997|By Jay Hancock | Jay Hancock,SUN STAFF

Stocks in Maryland-based companies got pounded yesterday along with the rest of the market, with T. Rowe Price Associates lTC Inc. shedding $8.38 per share and 11.6 percent of its value to lead the pack of decliners.

At least Price, with a business of mutual funds that is founded on the stock market, had reason to tumble. A prolonged stock slump could deter individual investors from the market and hurt Price's profits.

Other Maryland companies hit by yesterday's pain were apparently innocent bystanders, caught in the general rush to sell. The Bloomberg Maryland Index fell 11.43 points yesterday, or 5.6 percent, to 195.78.

Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. lost $3.13 to close at $46 per share. Provident Bankshares Corp. fell $2.75 to $48. Giant Food Inc. was down $3.38 to $29.63. And Trak Auto Corp. plunged $3.06 to $11.

None of those companies books many sales in Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong. Weak economies in Southeast Asia and their potential effect on U.S. exporters took the primary blame for yesterday's damage on Wall Street.

But one remarkable aspect of the plunge was its breadth. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 16-to-1, and stocks fell that had no connection to Asia or Wall Street.

One factor, analysts said, was that professional money managers may have decided to sell no matter what to preserve what remaining profits they have for 1997. They also may have been seeking to raise cash to pay for possible mutual fund redemptions.

"Cash levels were reasonably low," said John F. Synder III, manager of the John Hancock Sovereign Investors mutual fund. "And you're coming to the end of the year for most mutual funds in terms of gains and losses."

Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp., which does have a stake in overseas economies, lost $5.06 yesterday to close at $91.94.

Ciena Corp., a member of a high-tech sector, fell $6.13 to $51.63. MedImmune fell $5.38 to $34.38.

Pub Date: 10/28/97

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