Stocks fall after slipping in oil patch Dow industrials drop 96 points, to 8,786

Exxon, Chevron weak

Wall Street

August 04, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell yesterday, led by oil shares, on concern that Asia's economic woes might cut into U.S. corporate profit growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell below 8,800 for the first time in six weeks. The 30-stock average finished down 96.55 at 8,786.74.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 8.23 to 1,112.44, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 21.29 to 1,851.10.

Among other broad indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks shed 6.39 to 413.36; the Wilshire 5,000 index dropped 86.08 to 10,334.18; the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 8.39 to 697.87; and the S&P 400 midcap index lost 2.47 to 343.29.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 Maryland stocks by market valuation, lost 2.84 to 214.03.

More than two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Exxon Corp. dropped $1.75 to $68.50, and Chevron Corp. lost $1.50 to $81.125 as oil shares led the S&P lower, moving in tandem with the price of crude oil, which fell 3.6 percent.

J. P. Morgan & Co., which has seen its earnings crimped in recent quarters because of its exposure to Asia, lost $3.50 to $122.625.

Bergen Brunswig Corp. dropped $7.875 to $45.125, and AmeriSource Health Corp. tumbled $20.125 to $56 amid concern about their prospects for growth after a judge blocked their acquisitions by two of the country's largest drug wholesalers.

Cardinal Health Inc. planned to buy Bergen Brunswig, and McKesson Corp. had agreed to acquire AmeriSource. The government said the transactions would probably reduce competition in the $94 billion-a-year U.S. pharmaceutical-distribution industry. Cardinal Health fell 6.25 cents to $96. McKesson rose $2.25 to $82.875.

Procter & Gamble fell $3.125 to $76.25, leading the S&P 500's decline.

Cisco Systems Inc., the No. 1 maker of equipment that links computers, gained 75 cents to $96.50.

American Stores Co. rose $5.3125 to $28.50 after Albertson's Inc. agreed to buy the nation's third-largest supermarket. Albertson's rose 50 cents to $48.50.

Stratus Computer Inc. gained $4.875 to $33.75 after agreeing to be acquired by Ascend Communications Inc. for $822 million in stock, or $35.10 a share. Ascend rose $2.3438 to $46.8125.

Eastman Kodak Co. fell $2.375 to $81.50 after saying it would buy most of Imation Corp.'s medical-imaging business for $520 million.

General Motors Corp. rose 37.5 cents to $72.6875 after saying it will turn its Delphi Automotive Systems unit, the world's largest auto-parts maker, into an independent company through a stock sale and distribution to shareholders worth as much as $13 billion.

CellStar Corp. fell $1.625 to $12.375 after the seller of wireless communications products said the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating it for compliance with federal securities laws.

Stocks in Asia slumped as the yen's slide against the dollar heightened concern that Japan's economic ills are spreading. Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.3 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index sank 4.8 percent.

Pub Date: 8/04/98

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