THB, Banditos, Wayward and more confirmed for Cosmic Cocktail!

Stocks close mixed after record surge


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks closed mixed yesterday, one day after posting record highs, as lower prices for Philip Morris Cos. and J. P. Morgan & Co. held the Dow Jones industrial average in check.

Computer-related stocks gained.

The Nasdaq composite index, loaded with shares of technology companies that are expected to see the fastest earnings growth, climbed 5.52, to a record 994.15, its 35th record in 1995. Wednesday, it posted its biggest advance this year and its third-largest gain ever, 18.41.

The Dow rose 0.19 points, to a record 4,727.48, its 45th record this year, after falling as much as 20.94.

More than six stocks fell for every five that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume dropped to 388.5 million shares from 413.2 million Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index tacked on 0.11, to a record 561, its 48th this year, after falling as much as 1.87. Falling telephone, electrical equipment and tobacco stocks offset rising drug, computer and regional bank companies.

The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gained 0.9, to 294.67; the Wilshire 5000 added 3.97, to 5,525.55; and the American Stock Exchange market value index grew 1.73, to 515.93. All three were records.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index, up 32.49 points or 6.2 percent Wednesday, added 3.69 to 557.28. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange took the unusual step yesterday of declaring a 2-for-1 split in the index, which is up 104 percent this year.

International Business Machines Corp. gained $2.25, to $103.875, its highest since October 1991; Applied Materials Inc. rose $2.50, to $102.75; Dell Computer Corp. advanced $1.875, to $68.75; and Intel Corp. rose $1.375, to $73.625.

Atmel Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based maker of semiconductors, climbed $2.375, to $66. Xilinx Inc., a San-Jose-based maker of programmable semiconductor chips, jumped $7.125, to $113.50.

Of the 65 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index that have reported second-quarter earnings, 48 percent announced earnings above investors' expectations and 30 percent were below forecasts.

Stocks in the tobacco industry fell after the Clinton administration discussed a new assault on smoking that would lead to regulation of the tobacco industry by the Food and Drug Administration.

Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, fell as much as $2, to $75.75; UST Inc., formerly U.S. Tobacco, eased 62.5 cents, to $28.875; and American Brands Inc., maker of Benson & Hedges cigarettes in Britain, dropped 37.5 cents, to $39.

J. P. Morgan slid as much as $1.875, to $72.75. The bank's second-quarter earnings fell 10 percent to $1.56 a share from $1.73.

Many investors expect the Federal Reserve will continue to lower interest rates through the end of the year, especially if today's economic reports on June industrial production, retail sales and consumer inflation show further weakness in the economy, traders said.

Tandem Computers Inc. slumped $3.50, to $13. The computer maker warned that fiscal third-quarter earnings will be hurt by higher costs and a smaller revenue increase than analysts had expected.

MEMC surged $5.50, to $29.50. The maker of silicon wafers sold 17 million shares in an initial public offering at $24 each. Acclaim Entertainment Inc., a video-game software maker, leaped $3.50, to $24.875.

Merck & Co. gained $1.375, to $50.875. The drug company's Fosamax treatment for osteoporosis won a favorable recommendation from an FDA advisory committee.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad