Dow falls 110 points on worries over Asia Multinationals lead fall

bear market talk spreads

Wall Street

December 19, 1997|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell for a second day yesterday, amid concern that Asia's economic turmoil will slow growth around the world, crimping profits of J. P. Morgan & Co. and other multinational companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 110.91 to 7,846.50, its biggest decline in a week. J. P. Morgan led the drop, falling $4.125 to $118.875.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 10.24, or 1.1 percent, to 955.30, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 24.18, or 1.6 percent, to 1,523.19.

Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks lost 6.09 to 420.35; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, dropped 103.28 to 9,107.99; the American Stock Exchange composite index slid 6.41 to 664.87; and the S&P 400 midcap index slipped 3.01 to 321.58.

Stocks weren't helped by gloomy remarks from Wall Street strategists Ralph Acampora of Prudential Securities Inc. and Barton Biggs of Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co. Biggs said the United States will enter a bear market next year; Acampora said an extended period of declining stock prices has already arrived.

Two stocks fell for every one that rose, in trading of 618 million shares.

Microsoft Corp. fell $4.75 to $130.875 as U.S. antitrust authorities escalated their legal war with the world's dominant software company. The company has a court date with the Justice Department today to show whether it has made a good-faith effort to come up with a better way to let personal computer makers take its Internet browser off their PCs.

Aetna Inc. tumbled 12 percent as the departure of the chief financial officer of its health-care unit executive spurred concern that the health insurer's fourth-quarter profit will fall short of estimates. The shares fell $9.375 to $69.50.

Eastman Kodak Co. was one of just six stocks that rose among the 30 that make up the Dow Industrials. Kodak gained $1.50 to $58 after saying it will cut more jobs than announced last month and take a $1.5 billion charge to boost profit and its share of the photography market.

Kodak is still down 28 percent for the year, and is by far the Dow's pre-eminent laggard. Its closest cousin is Sears, Roebuck and Co., off 7 percent for the year.

Travelers Group Inc., the 30-stock Dow's No. 1 stock this year, fell 81.25 cents to $55.125. Capitalizing on the boom in the investment banking and stock and bond brokerage, it's up 82 percent this year.

While most stocks fell, 289 companies reached 52-week highs, with all-time highs from BellSouth Corp, up $1.4375 to $57.3125, and AT&T Corp., up $1.25 to $59.125.

AT&T rose on news that Citicorp agreed to buy the telecommunications giant's Universal Card unit for $3.5 billion. Citicorp fell $2.375 to $129.125.

Broderbund Software Inc. fell $5.25 to $28.50 on concern that the software company is too reliant on its fast-selling new Riven game.

Bankers Trust fell $3.8125 to $121 amid concern that its fourth-quarter earnings will fall short of expectations.

Plexus Corp. tumbled $11 to $14 after the electronics company said earnings will disappoint in its fiscal first quarter.

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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