NEW YORK — NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell yesterday as investors shunned shares of companies whose profit growth may lag in a buoyant economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled in late trading, closing 19.21 lower at 5,668.66 after having risen as much as 41 points earlier in the day. Procter & Gamble and Merck contributed to the downturn, along with United Technologies Corp. and Boeing Co.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.19 to 670.97, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.72 to 1,230.76.
On the broad market, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks slid .33 to 359.41; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq exchanges, dropped 8.96 to 6,677.07; the American Stock Exchange market value index fell 1.91 to 597.57; and the S&P; midcap index rose 0.32 to 240.40.
A series of computer-guided "sell" orders fueled the retreat and subtracted 33 points from the Dow industrials, said Birinyi Associates Inc., a research firm which tracks computer-guided trading.
The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond, at 7.12 percent, was unchanged from Monday and at its highest point in more than a year.
Shares of food and drug companies declined on concern their earnings wouldn't match those of companies more closely tied to swings in the economy.
Kellogg Co., the breakfast cereal maker, fell $1.875 to $70.125 a day after saying it would cut prices on some of its top brands up to 28 percent. Rival General Mills Inc. dropped 87.5 cents to $55.
Merck fell $1.25 to $64 and Pfizer Inc., another drug company, slumped $1.75 to $72.375.
Procter & Gamble, the maker of Pampers diapers, slid $1 to $89.875, and Gillette Co., a seller of toiletry products, dropped 62.5 cents to $59.375.
Among construction stocks, Foster Wheeler Corp. climbed $1.50 to $46.375 and Fluor Corp. gained $2.125 to $65.50. Pulte Corp., a homebuilder and mortgage lender, rose 37.5 cents to $29. Centex Corp., an office and home construction company, climbed 50 cents to $31.875.
Microsoft Corp. rose $1.50 to $122.125. The No. 1 software maker is scheduled to detail its strategy for "intranets," or corporate computer networks using the Internet, tomorrow.
Hewlett-Packard Co. added $1.125 to $106.50, and International Business Machines Corp. rose 62.5 cents to $103.25.
Investors pummeled shares of companies that failed to live up to expectations.
Bell Sports Corp. fell 75 cents to $8.125 after the company said earnings would be below analysts' estimates for the fiscal fourth quarter.
The maker of helmets and other sports equipment said cool weather in some parts of the U.S. contributed to the shortfall.
De Rigo SpA's American depositary receipts slumped $4.875 to $22.75 amid concern that slowing sunglasses sales would hurt earnings. Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Deepak Raj warned that his profit forecasts may be too high.
Synalloy Corp. dropped $1.828125 to $17.921875. The company said earnings in the second quarter from its dyes and specialty chemicals businesses won't meet analysts' estimates.
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. skidded $3.125 to $10.875 on news that Hewlett-Packard will stop buying the company's wafers.
PairGain Technologies Inc. jumped $8 to $114.50 after the telecommunications company said it received a two-year contract to supply BCE Inc.'s Bell Canada with its high-capacity digital systems.
Storage Technology Corp. bounded $3.50 higher to $43 after gaining $4.50 Monday. The information storage company was raised to "outperform" from "neutral" by Lehman Brothers a day after IBM said it would incorporate Storage Technology's products into some of its mainframe computers.
Pub Date: 6/12/96