Stocks falter, Dow loses 6 points Oil and Internet shares lead a late retreat on GE's record-setting day

Wall Street

July 08, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell yesterday as oil and Internet shares led a late-afternoon slump.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 6.73 to 9,085.04, after having risen as much as 59 points. Chevron Corp., down $2.125 to $82.50, accounted for the average's entire decline. General Electric Co., another Dow member, set a record and became the first U.S. company to top $300 billion in market value.

Stocks such as Lycos Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. headed south on concern that the gains of recent weeks might have driven their prices up more than justified by prospects for earnings or takeovers. Lycos Inc. dropped $14.5625 to $85 after soaring $20.50 Monday. Yahoo! Inc. dropped $8.25 to $191, erasing some of Monday's $26.375 rise.

The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.65 to 1154.66. The Nasdaq composite index lost 1.36 to 1908.11. Advancers and decliners were about evenly matched on the New York Stock Exchange. About 625 million shares changed hands.

Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 fell .93 to 459.04; the Wilshire 5,000 lost 16.77 to 10,839.08; the American Stock Exchange composite index climbed 2.84 to 727.96; and the S&P 400 midcap index added .08 to 366.56.

The Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 stocks in Maryland by market valuation, fell .33 to 229.88.

Motorola Inc. rose $1.4375 to $55. After the close of trading, the maker of semiconductors and cellular phones reported a profit from operations of 1 cent a share. Analysts expected a loss of 4 cents.

As was the case Monday, the action was in Internet stocks. Amazon.com Inc. tumbled $17.375 to $121.125, and Excite Inc., an Internet search directory, dived $10.75 to $96.25, both more than wiping out Monday's gains.

Defying the drop in Internet shares, Inktomi Corp. rose for a fourth day, up $2.875 to $76.50. Analysts at Goldman Sachs & Co., Hambrecht & Quist and BT Alex. Brown initiated coverage of the Internet software company this week. Inktomi went public on June 10 at $18.

Egghead.com Inc., which sells software and computers over the Internet, rose 68.75 cents to 15.50. More than 26 million shares changed hands, making Egghead.com the most active stock in U.S. trading.

Venator Group Inc. was the biggest percentage decliner in the S&P, after it warned that quarterly earnings will be less than expected. Venator, formerly Woolworth Corp., dropped $2.75, or percent, to $18.25.

Oil shares fell as the price of crude oil stayed below $14 a barrel for a second day. Traders are skeptical that world oil producers will follow through on an agreement to cut output to boost prices. Amoco Corp. lost $1.0625 to $41.875 and Mobil Corp. fell $1.50 to $76.875.

Besides GE, a who's who of corporate America reached records yesterday, including Chrysler Corp., up 18.75 cents to $58.25, and Merrill Lynch & Co., up $3.3125 to $104.3125. Merrill rose partly on speculation that the firm might announce a stock split, analysts said.

UAL Corp. rose $4.3125 to $88.75 after the parent of the world's largest airline, United Airlines, said second-quarter earnings will top analysts' average estimate of $3.03 a share.

Semiconductor stocks gained on optimism that business picked up late in the second quarter. Robert Chaplinsky, an analyst at Hambrecht & Quist Group, helped spark the rally with positive comments to the firm's trading floor in midafternoon about computer chip maker Altera Corp.

Altera rose $4.0625 to $33.9375, Intel Corp. gained $1.6406 to $75.125 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. gained $1.50 to $18.

Sports Authority Inc., America's biggest sporting-goods retailer, fell $2.0625 to $14.50 after warning that second-quarter earnings will be below expectations as sales of clothing, footwear and fitness equipment continue to decline.

Radiant Systems Inc. tumbled $7 to $7 after the maker of computer systems used by fast-food restaurants and cinema chains said it will post a second-quarter loss of 8 cents to 10 cents a share.

Maryland stocks fell, led by FTI Consulting Inc. and Medimmune Inc. FTI fell $4.125 to $11.50. Medimmune fell $1.75 to $59.50.

Pub Date: 7/08/98

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