Dow drops 69 points, but trims early dive Earnings warnings from Boeing, Sears worry investors

December 03, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell yesterday for the second time in three days after Boeing Co. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. warned that their earnings would fall short of expectations, heightening concern that economic and profit growth will slow next year.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 69 points, to 9,064.54, paring a 178-point loss earlier in the session. Boeing, the most-active stock in U.S. trading, accounted for about half of the decline.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 4.03, to 1,171.25. A late-day rally in drug stocks helped offset decline in aerospace and oil shares, including United Technologies Corp. and Amoco Corp. The Nasdaq composite index lost 8.54, to 1,995.21, climbing back from a 30-point loss.

Among other broad-market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small-capitalization stocks fell 1.25, to 397.49; the Wilshire 5,000 index slumped 29.13, to 10,702.35; and the American Stock Exchange composite index slid 3.06, to 659.94. The S&P 400 midcap index added 0.86, to 352.89.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks slipped 0.46, to 191.25.

Four stocks fell for every three that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. More than 727 million shares changed hands, down from the current three-month average of 753 million.

Boeing, the world's biggest plane maker, fell $6.75, to $33.625, in the wake of its announcements after the markets closed Tuesday that it will cut 48,000 jobs by the end of 2000, will slow production of its 747 jumbo jet and expects its profit next year to be below the $2 billion it forecast in July.

The jet-maker's suppliers also fell, leading the S&P 500 down. Northrop Grumman Corp. lost $5.375, to $75.8125; United Technologies declined $4.50, to $101.9375; and Sundstrand Corp. dropped $5.8125, to $49. Crane Co., whose products include brakes for the aerospace industry, fell $3.3125, to $28.3125.

Sears, the largest U.S. department-store chain, fell $1.5625, to $43, after saying that its 1998 earnings per share will rise just 1 percent over the 2 percent it recorded in 1997.

Oil shares fell as crude oil prices hovered near a 12-year low. Amoco fell $2.0625, to $55.4375; Texaco Inc. dropped $2.8125, to $54; and Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. slumped $1.625, to $45.1875.

Sun Microsystems Inc. dropped $5.8125, to $74.125, after the company told analysts that it has to ship 60 percent of this quarter's computers in December after switching the computer system that handles the company's orders, manufacturing and distribution.

E-Tek Dynamics Inc., a maker of parts for fiber-optic networks, soared $14.75, to $26.75, in its first day of trading after selling its shares at a price one-third higher than expected.

Internet stocks fell after the Wall Street Journal reported executives at Excite Inc. and other Internet companies have been selling stock in greater volume for the past 15 days than at any time this year, suggesting that the stocks are overvalued.

Excite lost $2.625, to $49.375; Yahoo! Inc. dropped $9.1875, to $197.0625; and WavePhore Inc. fell $5.75, to $9.50.

Drug and biotechnology stocks rose yesterday, led by Amgen Inc., American Home Products Corp., Cor Therapeutics Inc. and Genzyme Corp. on optimism their profit would not be hurt by slowing economies in Asia and other emerging markets. Amgen, the world's biggest biotech company, rose $2.50, to $79.125. Drugmaker American Home rose $1.1875, to $53.9375.

Cor, which told analysts yesterday that it is on track to meet 1998 sales forecasts, gained $1.1875, to $13.125. Genzyme, whose Thyrogen drug for patients undergoing cancer tests won U.S. approval, rose $3.375, to $44.875.

Cisco Systems Inc. fell $1.50, to $78.25, after the top maker of computer networking equipment agreed to buy closely held PipeLinks Inc. for $126 million in stock and said it will take a charge of 3 cents to 6 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter, which ends in January.

Comverse Technology, a computer systems and voice-mail company, rose $4.75, to $62.75. The company, which also designs telecommunications systems, said it earned 62 cents a share for the third quarter, which ended Oct. 31, beating the analysts' estimates by a nickel.

Irvine Apartment Communities Inc. rose $4.1875, to $31.5625, after billionaire real estate developer Donald Bren offered to buy the shares of the real estate investment trust that he does not already own for $540 million in cash.

Pub Date: 12/03/98

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