Stocks close lower for third day in a row But drop barely puts dent in autumn rebound

Dow is off just 40.16

Wall Street

November 12, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- Profit-takers sent stocks lower for a third straight day yesterday, although many technology shares again bucked the trend after an upbeat earnings outlook from Intel Corp.

Drugmakers such as Merck & Co. and bank shares led the decline.

But the damage to Wall Street's autumn rebound remained marginal, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling just 40.16 to 8,823.82.

Most broad-market measures also extended a weeklong slump, but the decline has barely put a dent in the market's recent success.

Even with Monday and Tuesday added in, the Dow has lost just 150 points this week after gaining 610 in the preceding eight sessions and rising 1,500 from its early October low. The Dow has not lost as much as 100 points in a single day since Oct. 1.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 7.29, to 1,120.97.

The Nasdaq composite index, loaded with computer-related stocks including Intel and Microsoft Corp., held up best, slipping 3.51 to 1,862.11.

Among other broad-market indicators, the Russell 2,000 index of small-capitalization stocks lost 3.39, to 393.47; the Wilshire 5,000 index skidded 60.72, to 10,291.45; the American Stock Exchange composite index slid 1.28, to 663.81; and the S&P 400 midcap index fell 2.23, to 344.82.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index dropped 1.93, to 190.87.

More than 714 million shares changed hands on the Big Board, down from a three-month average of 770 million. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Merck, which gained 9 percent in the past two weeks, fell $2.8125, to $144, accounting for a quarter of the Dow average's decline. Merck gained 6 percent in the previous four sessions on optimism that new arthritis drugs will bolster profits at the world's largest drugmaker.

Citigroup Inc., the world's biggest financial services company, fell $1.125, to $42.375, and U.S. Bancorp lost $1.4375, to $36.3125.

Intel gained $6.125, to a record $103.6875, as 31 million shares changed hands, making it the second-most active stock in composite trading behind Fox Entertainment Group Inc.

Intel, the world's biggest computer-chip maker, said fourth-quarter revenue will rise as much as 10 percent from the previous quarter because of stronger-than-expected demand from personal computer makers.

Intel's announcement lifted shares of Dell Computer Corp., up $1.625, to $71.9375; Compaq Computer Corp., up $1.625, to $34.50; and International Business Machines Corp., up $1.125, to $157.125.

Fox, producer of "The Simpsons" and "Ally McBeal" television shows, rose $2, to $24.50, in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Fox sold 124.8 million shares at $22.50 each, 47 percent more shares than expected.

MONY Group Inc. rose 62 1/2 cents, to $8.125, in its first day of trading. MONY, one of the largest New York life insurers to switch ownership to investors from policy-holders, raised $304 million in an initial public offering that drew stronger demand from investors than expected.

The company, formerly known as Mutual Life Insurance Co. of New York, sold 12.94 million shares at $23.50 each, exceeding the 11.25 million forecast.

EarthWeb Inc., an information resource company, rose $4.6875, to $8.6875, as 11.5 million shares changed hands in its first day of trading. The initial public offering of 2.1 million shares was priced at $14.

Concentra Corp. rose $3.3125, to $6.875, after the maker of software agreed to be acquired by Oracle Corp. for $43 million in cash, or $7 a share. That is a 97 percent premium to Concentra's closing price Tuesday.

K-tel International Inc. rose for a second day. The seller of music, videos and other forms of entertainment signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to include its online music and video service on Microsoft's Internet shopping channel. K-tel gained $9.6875, to $32.625.

CDnow Inc., the No. 1 music retailer on the World Wide Web, gained $2.75, to $14.75, and No. 2 online music retailer N2K Inc. gained $3.125, to $12.4375.

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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