Stocks tumble late in session

Dow loses 20 points

Nasdaq slides 35

but Russell 2,000 rises

May 21, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell in the last hour of trading as investors shifted money from computer and semiconductor shares into smaller companies.

The Nasdaq composite index slumped 35.17 to 2,542.23, led by Intel Corp.

International Business Machines Corp. accounted for most of the Dow Jones industrial average's 20.65-point drop to 10,866.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.40 to 1,338.83.

By contrast, the Russell 2,000 index, a benchmark of small-cap stocks, rose 1.88 to 448.02; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 3.67 to 792.03; and the S&P 400 midcap index added 0.24 to 403.94. The Wilshire 5,000 index dropped 29.17 to 12,324.41.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks gained 1.89 to 244.60.

Advancing shares outnumbered losers by a 17-to-12 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange, where about 752.3 million shares traded.

Intel fell $2 to $57.6875; IBM declined $3.125 to $232.75; and Dell Computer Corp. slipped $1.5625 to $38.25.

Internet stocks suffered as well. Amazon.com dropped $3.875 to $135.6875 after the company said it plans to sell $2 billion in stocks and bonds.

Duke Energy Corp. gained $1.0625 to $58.0625 and Enron Corp. climbed $1.0625 to $74.0625.

UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, finished $1.6875 higher at $76.375.

GATX Corp. gained $1.625 to $40.1875.

Among small-cap stocks, health care information-management company Cerner Corp. gained $3.625 to $23.50; generic drugmaker Ivax Corp. climbed 68.75 cents to $13.8125; and Phycor Inc. rose 78.13 cents to $6.50 to help lead the Russell 2,000 index higher.

Small stocks have lagged behind the broader market in recent months.

The Russell 2,000 has risen just 6.2 percent this year while the Nasdaq has advanced 16 percent and the Dow is up 18.36 percent. Still, the Russell is now 53 points from its closing high of 491.41 reached April 21, 1998.

Merck & Co. gained $1.375 to $71.875 on expectations that it will win U.S. approval this week for Vioxx, a painkiller designed to cause less stomach irritation than older drugs.

Warner-Lambert Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. gained after a person familiar with the situation said the drugmakers are in merger talks. Warner-Lambert, seller of the top U.S. cholesterol-reduction drug, rose $1.25 to $68.25, and Schering-Plough, maker of the world's No. 1 anti-allergy pill Claritin, added $1.9375 to $49.4375.

eToys Inc. rocketed $56.5625 to $76.5625 after its initial stock sale, as investors' expectations for sales growth over the Internet gave the biggest online toy retailer a higher market value than Toys `R' Us Inc.

Etec Systems Inc. fell $5.625 to $30.375 after the chip-equipment maker warned that it expects to report a fiscal fourth-quarter loss and may incur losses through the fiscal first quarter.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.45 percent. European markets were mostly higher, as Germany's DAX index rose 0.6 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 rose 1.6 percent and France's CAC-40 closed up 1.1 percent.

Pub Date: 5/21/99

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