Stocks close with few changes Nasdaq posts its ninth straight record

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were little changed yesterday as oil shares gave back Monday's gains and interest rates rose. The Nasdaq composite index climbed to its ninth straight record.

Oil stocks slipped after the Clinton administration said it wants to sell from the nation's strategic reserves because of concern about high gasoline prices.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 4.33 to 5,569.08. The 30-stock benchmark index was led lower by Texaco Inc., Exxon Corp. and Chevron Corp.

Shares of oil exploration and production companies fell. Burlington Resources Inc. fell 75 cents, to $37.25, and Santa Fe Energy Resources Inc. fell 37.5 cents, to $11.875.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.01, to 654.17.

Nasdaq rose 2.32, to 1,190.52, boosted by a $2 billion purchase of Uunet Technologies Inc. by MFS Communications Co.

Among broad indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 0.06, to a record 348.28; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, rose 0.54, to a record 6,514.79; the S&P; Midcap index fell 0.27, to 237.07; and the American Stock Exchange market value index slid 1.85, to 590.90.

Declining stocks led advancers by 1,202 to 1,178. Trading was moderate, as 393 million shares traded hands, below the average daily volume during the last three months of 407 million shares.

The five most active stocks in U.S. composite trading were, in descending order, Novell Inc., up 75 cents at $14.50 in trading of 9.9 million shares; Philip Environmental Inc., up $1.125, to $8.125, as 8.5 million shares changed hands on its first day of trading; MFS Communications, up 6.25 cents, to $34.6875, with about 7 million shares traded; Intel Corp., down 37.5 cents, to $67.75, on 5.8 million shares traded; and the American depositary receipts of Chilgener SA, the Chilean utility, down $1.125 at $22.375.

Stocks dropped along with bonds after a report showed that consumer confidence in the U.S. economy unexpectedly rose this month. That, together with a report showing that manufacturing activity in the Midwest is rising, sent interest rates higher.

The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond, a benchmark for corporate and consumer borrowing rates, jumped to 6.91 percent from 6.84 percent Monday.

Defense stocks surged on expectations the companies' earnings will grow by 10 percent annually for the next several years, allowing stock buybacks, increased dividends, mergers and acquisitions and debt repayment.

Pub Date: 5/01/96

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