NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell yesterday for a second day, led by financial issues, as some investors concluded that interest rates won't fall enough to propel earnings higher. Technology issues rebounded after posting early losses.
Shares of bank, mortgage and credit card companies fell as rising bond yields boosted the cost of funds for lenders. Financial stocks have been among the biggest gainers since the middle of August as investors bet low rates would spur profit gains.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17.16, to 4,780.41, after sliding as much as 41.37, to 4756.2, its biggest intra-day drop since a 45.8-point decline Aug. 15. It was the 30-stock average's third drop in the last 12 sessions. Among the biggest losers were shares of General Electric Co., Aluminum Co. of America, American Express Co. and J.P. Morgan & Co.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.58, to 582.77 after being down as much as 3.99 at 579.36. It was the index's second straight drop after posting nine records in a row. Shares of oil, electrical equipment, financial and software companies fell, while semiconductor, drug and tobacco issues gained.
Among financial shares, First Interstate Bancorp dropped $1, to $100; Banc One Corp. shed $1, to $35.375; Republic New York Corp. weakened $1.875, to $58.125; Federal National Mortgage Association fell $1.25, to $102.75; American Express fell 87.5 cents, to $43.50; and First USA Inc. shed 87.5 cents, to $50.125. The S&P; regional bank index fell 2.60, or 1.2 percent, to 222.74, after surging 10 percent over the previous month.
The Nasdaq composite index, dense with technology stocks, fell 0.92, to 1,050.18 after sliding 9.42, to 1,041.68. The index is now ,, down 2.4 percent since registering a record high of 1,067.4 last Wednesday. Still, for the year, the index is up 39.6 percent.
More than seven stocks fell for every four that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where more than 326 million shares changed hands. That's less than Friday's 459.24 million shares traded, when the expiration of options and futures drove demand for stocks.
Among broad market indexes, the Russell 2000 index of small capitalization stocks fell 0.95, to 313.34; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, dropped 5.23, to 5,799.97; the AMEX market value index slid 2.71, to 547.87; and the S&P; 400 Midcap Index slipped 0.12 to 216.57.
Yesterday's most active stocks in U.S. composite trading were Oracle, Intel, Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.'s American depositary receipts, Micron Technology Inc. and Caldor Corp.
Shares of technology companies fell at the open, after tumbling Friday, as concern grew that earnings won't live up to expectations.
Investors continued to worry about falling profits in the technology sector after last week's warnings from Apple Computer Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. Expectations that more announcements may be coming as the quarter's end approaches continued to drag down this year's best performing stocks.
By the end of the day, the stocks were higher. Some investors said Friday's drop made the stocks good values based on the expected profit gains in the third quarter. Oracle Corp. rose $2.125, to $39.75; Intel Corp. rose 75 cents, to $62.875; DSC Communications Corp. rose $1.75, to 58.375;, Dell Computer Corp. rallied $3.3125, to $86.25; Informix Corp. jumped $1.875, to $31.50; and Adobe Systems Inc. surged $1.875, to $50.75.
Shares of Motorola Inc. rallied $3, to an all-time high of $81.75, after GTE Corp. said it awarded a contract to the company to supply wireless communications equipment. Industry experts value the contract at $800 million. A GTE spokesman declined to put a value on the contract.
Investors were willing to reward good earnings. Nike Inc. said earnings in the quarter ended Aug. 31 rose 55 percent, surging past Wall Street's expectations. The company saw its stock leap $7.125, to $99.625.