Stocks mixed transports zoom

Dow industrials fall 19 points, to 9,049

Nasdaq back above 1,800

June 10, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday, as investors fretted that this year's gains already reflect an optimistic outlook for earnings.

Exxon Corp. and other oil shares declined for a second day on signs of slowing demand for fuel, while drugmakers rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 19.68 to 9,049.92, but the Dow transportation average surged 104.33 points, or 3.11 percent, to 3,461.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 2.69 to 1,118.41, led by Pfizer Inc., which gained $4 to $112.4375 after the government said its Viagra impotence drug didn't cause any deaths among people who used it.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 12.99 to 1,800.76, its first close above 1,800 in 12 sessions.

Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks added .40 to 456.71; the Wilshire 5,000 index gained 26.34 to 10,527.40; the American Stock Exchange composite index climbed .38 to 714.07; and the S&P 400 midcap index picked up 1.15 to 380.67.

The Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 stocks in Maryland by market valuation, added .94 to 232.04.

Declining stocks led advancers by a 4-to-3 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange. Some 561.5 million shares changed hands on the Big Board.

Oil shares fell after the International Energy Agency cut its estimate of oil demand. The agency said demand is dropping in Asia, where economies are slowing. Crude futures slumped 4.8 percent to $13.85 a barrel, and are now 25 percent lower than a year ago.

Exxon dropped $1.25 to $69.9375 and Amoco Corp. fell 62.5 cents to $42. DuPont Co., owner of oil producer Conoco, fell $1.625 to $78.1875.

But the falling oil prices lifted airline stocks for a second day, and buoyed the transportation averages.

US Airways Group Inc. rose $5.1875 to $75.125; Continental Airlines Inc.'s Class B shares rose $2.50 to $59.875; Alaska Airgroup Inc. rallied $3.6875 to $52.625; and AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, rose $6 to $162.

American Express Co. fell $1.875 to $107.125, leading the Dow average's decline. On Monday, it rose 4.3 percent amid takeover speculation.

Microsoft Corp. gained $1.375 to $87.0625 after it teamed up with Northern Telecom Ltd., North America's second-biggest phone-equipment maker, to sell modems and software to phone companies that want to provide high-speed Internet access. Nortel rose $1.375 to $64.9375.

Dell Computer Corp. rose $1.8125 to $85.50. The No. 2 U.S. PC maker doesn't expect a repeat of the "unusually big" first-quarter drop in prices for its personal computers in coming quarters because demand remains strong, a high company official said at an investment conference.

Merck & Co. rose $1.50 to $123, benefiting from a study showing that drugs made by Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Zeneca Group PLC to treat high blood pressure increased survival rates if given to patients immediately after a heart attack.

Bristol-Myers rose 25 cents to $112.1875 and Zeneca fell 6.25 cents to $43.75.

Ascend Communications Inc. gained $2 to $49, after Standard & Poor's Corp. said it is adding the maker of computer networking products to the S&P 500.

Ascend will replace Digital Equipment Corp. in the S&P 500 after the close of trading tomorrow, when Compaq Computer Corp. is expected to complete its acquisition of Digital. Inclusion in the S&P 500 means mutual funds that try to match the index's performance have to buy the stock.

Tommy Hilfiger Corp. fell $3.625 to $60.3125 after the maker of casual clothing said its order backlog at the end of the fiscal fourth quarter was up a less-than-expected 7 percent.

General Motors Corp. fell 81.25 cents to $73.19 after the world's largest automaker began shutting down assembly plants because of a strike-related parts shortage. The shutdowns are a sign that GM is willing to sacrifice profit now for lasting plant productivity gains.

Polaroid Corp. fell 31.25 cents to $39.0625. The world's largest instant photography company said profit will be less than forecast in the second quarter.

Pub Date: 6/10/98

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