NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday as slumping oil and retail shares tempered a rally in technology issues. Concern grew that a slowdown in the economy will dampen profit growth.
Shares of retailers fell amid signs that sales growth stalled last week, confirming that a slowdown is now well under way. Consumer spending stoked the economy last year, helping it to expand at the fastest rate in a decade and spurring record profit growth.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense to me that there are a lot of signs of weakness and the stock market is shrugging it off," said Steven Zenker, money manager at McCabe Capital Managers, which manages about $100 million. "The other shoe has to drop."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 3.12, to 4,550.56, its first drop in seven days. The 30-stock average notched four straight records before yesterday's drop; Monday's 42.89-point surge was its biggest this month. A round of computer-guided "buy" orders buoyed the average late yesterday after it fell as much as 18.68 points, according to Birinyi Associates Inc.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 0.24, to 544.98, also its first drop in seven sessions. Still, the index is up 18 percent so far this year. The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index, meanwhile, rallied 7.74, to 929.83, after soaring 13.45 points Monday -- its biggest one-day leap since April 5 last year. The index, up 23 percent in 1995, has climbed 13 of the last 15 days.
Retailers fell after a weekly report from Mitsubishi Bank and Wertheim Schroder showed same-store sales in the week that ended June 17 were unchanged from the previous week. Shares of Dayton Hudson fell $1.125, to $71.75; J. C. Penney Co. slid 75 cents, to $48.25; Mercantile Stores Co. fell 25 cents, to $47.875; Fred Meyer Inc. slipped 50 cents, to $27.25; and Consolidated Stores Corp. fell 50 cents, to $19.625.
Oil stocks weakened, meanwhile, amid concern that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will boost output next year even though the 12-member body said it won't raise output for the rest of 1995, analysts said. Ministers will meet in November to decide 1996 production.
Shares of Exxon Corp. fell $1.50, to $70.125; Amoco Corp. slid $1.375, to $67.75; Mobil Corp. dropped $1.375, to $98.25; Texaco Inc. slipped $1, to $66.75; and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. slumped $1.25, to $45.25.
About six stocks fell for every five that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where more than 384 million shares traded hands. The three-month daily average is 338.1 million.
Intel Corp.'s shares rose $3.25, to $65; Applied Materials Inc. spurted $2.25, to $85.25; 3Com Corp. added $2.25, to $66.50; Informix Corp. climbed $1.56, to $49.81; and Xilinx Inc. rose $3.25, to $99.50.
Shares of Apple Computer rose $3, to $47.375, after Smith Barney Inc. raised its opinion on the stock to "buy." On Monday, IBM said it would sell personal computers with Apple's Macintosh software. The agreement could boost Apple's sales.
The Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 0.31, to a record 282.54; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, rose 2.59, to an all-time high of 5,341.17; the Amex market value index fell 1.13, to 495.08; and the S&P; 400 midcap index rose 0.45, to a record 199.02.