Dow hits new high

tech issues slip again

Blue-chip index rises 32 points, to 10,878, while Nasdaq drops 21

April 30, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average reached its third straight record-high close yesterday, but stock prices ended mixed as investors again sold technology stocks and bought financial issues in response to a drop in bond market interest rates.

The Dow rebounded from a midafternoon slump that knocked it from an 82-point gain, briefly sending it 11 points into minus territory, and finished 32.93 higher at 10,878.38. Oil, metals and financial companies, considered the cheapest stocks in the market, led the 30-stock average to its fifth record in seven sessions.

The Nasdaq composite index, hit hard in recent sessions on aggressive selling of technology issues, fell 21.93 to 2,528.44, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 8.08 to 1,342.83.

Elsewhere on the broad market, the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 1.31 to a record 779.00, and the S&P 400 midcap index climbed 2.30 to a record 397.86. The Russell 2,000 index, a benchmark of small-cap stocks, slipped 0.68 to 432.85, and the Wilshire 5,000 index skidded 59.40 to 12,300.83.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks gained 0.87 to 184.24.

Sixteen stocks rose for every 13 that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where just over 1 billion shares traded.

On the bond market, the 30-year Treasury yield fell six basis points, to 5.52 percent, after the Labor Department reported that wages and benefits for American workers rose a moderate 0.4 percent in the first quarter. The increase was half of what analysts had expected, and it suggested that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates to curb inflation anytime soon.

Among financial shares that profited from the Labor Department's report, American Express gained $2.3125 to $135.375; J. P. Morgan & Co. climbed $2.1875 to $138; and Citigroup Inc. advanced $1.75 to $76.3125.

Alcoa Inc. jumped $2.6875 to $64.6875, aiding the Dow. The stock has shot up 57 percent this month. Maxxam Inc. rose $1.125 to $57.25, and Kaiser Aluminum Co. added $1 to $8.0625.

Exxon Corp. rose $3 to $84.50; Mobil Corp. jumped $5.0625 to $107.1875; and Schlumberger Ltd. added $1.50 to $65.

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing was up $1.125 to $85.625.

Drug maker Pharmacia & Upjohn dropped $1.8125 to $55.50, even after the company met analysts' expectations with a 17 percent increase in first-quarter earnings.

Among technology stocks, Microsoft Corp. slipped 6.25 cents to $82.0625; Intel Corp. fell 37.5 cents to $60.8125; Dell Computer Corp. slid 56.25 cents to $41.0625; Compaq Computer Corp. lost 87.5 cents to $22.8125; and Lucent Technologies Inc. dropped $2.5625 to $58.25.

Amazon.com Inc. fed the Nasdaq's fall by forecasting a widening deficit, thus disappointing investors who expected the online retailer to start making money sooner. It shares dropped $25.25 to $168.25.

Teradyne Inc., the largest U.S. maker of semiconductor-testing equipment, fell $4.6875 to $49.3125 after analyst Michael O'Brien at Soundview Technology Group removed it from his "focus list" on concern about declining memory-chip prices and said the group's outlook over the next few months could be negative. Applied Materials Inc. fell $2.3125 to $51.875.

Texas Instruments Inc. lost $5.75 to $106.125 and Micron Technology Inc. fell $1 to $37.375.

Proxim Inc. rose $2.75 to $35.125 after Intel said it bought a 2.9 percent stake in the maker of wireless computer-networking equipment.

MCI WorldCom Inc. fell $3.8125 to $83.875 after declining to comment on reported talks to acquire unprofitable wireless company Nextel Communications Inc. MCI WorldCom reported first-quarter profit from operations of 37 cents a share, exceeding analysts' average estimate of 34 cents.

Pub Date: 4/30/99

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