NASDAQ slump weighs on stocks Dow falls 7.56


NEW YORK -- A slumping NASDAQ market yesterday sent U.S. stocks lower as the market fell for the first time in more than a week.

Shares of Intel Corp., Apple Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. declined, fueling a 1.3 percent slide in the NASDAQ Combined Composite index. The NASDAQ composite closed 9.26 points lower, at 697.90. The index fell from record levels for the first time in six sessions.

"The blue chips of the NASDAQ market fell, and that put a damper over the entire market," said Richard Meyer, head of institutional trading at Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co.

"The NASDAQ market appears to be running out of gas," said James Davila, vice president in equity trading at Mabon Securities. "There's some real institutional selling that's coming into this market."

The NASDAQ's woes stretched into other market averages. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 7.56, to 3291.39, led by slides in Boeing Co. and American Express Co.

Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 1.85, to 438.10, and the American Stock Exchange Market Value index fell 1.42, to 410.18. Advancing common stocks outnumbered declining issues by about 9-to-5 on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading exceeded 200 million shares for a seventh straight session, as about 279 million shares changed hands on the Big Board.

Shares of international oil and semiconductor companies fell the most yesterday. These are the same industry groups that rallied most in the past several days.

"Institutions are taking profits in stocks where the biggest gains have been recorded, like the oil and technology groups," said Peter Da Puzzo, senior managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

"We've seen a tremendous amount of money go into the market," said David Holt, director of technical research at Wedbush Morgan Securities. "Now, there's a lot of moving out of this market."

Westinghouse Electric Corp. rose 25 cents, to $14, on news that Chairman Paul Lego was retiring. Westinghouse lost $2.38 billion over the past two years under Mr. Lego's leadership.

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