Dow slips 0.34 as cyclicals decline RTC


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday as technology issues rallied, countering a decline in shares of companies whose performance is closely tied to the economy.

Technology shares soared to new highs after Japanese Toshiba Corp. said it's negotiating with customers to raise its prices on computer memory chips. That helped technology stocks extend a two-day rally.

Offsetting those gains were declines in so-called cyclical shares, led by Aluminum Co. of America. Alcoa stock sank to $44.125, down $1, after running up almost 9 percent since it announced on April 7 its first-quarter earnings soared to $1.08 a share from 5 cents a year ago.

The Morgan Stanley index of 30 stocks sensitive to swings in the economy dropped 0.8, to 311.87, its second day of declines after reaching a six-month high on Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.34, to 4,299.83. Alcoa, General Motors Corp. and Bethlehem Steel Corp. led the decline. International Business Machines Corp., United Technologies Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. were the biggest gainers.

About 1,160 shares advanced while 1,075 declined on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading fell to 352.7 million share from 351.78 million Tuesday. That still exceeded the 321.3 million average trading volume over the past six months.

Yesterday's gains by IBM, the biggest gainer among the Dow industrials, also helped tech stocks. IBM climbed $1.625, to $95.25, after S. G. Warburg & Co. analyst David Wu raised his opinion on the stock to "buy" from "add."

Among broader market measures, the S&P; 500 index added 0.51, to 512.66. Semiconductor, computer and broadcast shares rose; auto, gold and steel shares led the decliners.

The Russell 2,000 index of small companies added 0.92, to 264.89. The Wilshire 5,000 index reached another record high, rising 6.88, to 5015.27.

The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index jumped 5.63, to a record 836.91 -- the biggest increase since April 10 and the 10th time the index has reached an all-time high this year. By comparison, the Dow industrial index has reached 20 record highs this year, and the S&P; 500 has set 22 highs.

Intel shares helped the Nasdaq to rise; the stock rose $1.375, to $99.625, and at one point broke $100, the first time it had passed that milestone.

Motorola Inc. jumped $1.75, to $57.625; Texas Instruments Inc. gained $4.25, to $105.25; and National Semiconductor Corp surged $2.125, to $22.875.

The market's gains were tempered by declines in the shares of automakers. Chrysler Corp. slumped, taking other auto shares with it, after investor Kirk Kerkorian asked the company to submit his $20.5 billion takeover offer to Chrysler shareholders, saying he would withdraw his bid if shareholders rejected it. The plea signaled to investors that the proposed purchase may founder.

Chrysler fell $2.625, to $41.50, and was the most active stock in U.S. composite trading. Ford Motor Co. fell 50 cents, to $27, and General Motors Corp. slipped 87.5 cents, to $43.75.

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