Stocks mixed, with Dow down 6 Nasdaq also down, but S&P; 500 index struggles to a record


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed amid concern that a manufacturing downturn may foreshadow weaker 1997 profits for corporate America.

"A manufacturing slowdown could hurt some of the big companies," such as Caterpillar Inc. and United Technologies Corp., said Dirk van Dijk, chief investment strategist at C. H. Dean & Associates, with $4 billion in assets.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 6.93 to 6,806.16.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index eked out its first record in nearly two weeks, rising 0.57 to 786.73, as falling interest rates helped shares of banks and other financial companies. BankAmerica Corp. and Citicorp rose to all-time highs. The Nasdaq composite index lost 3.80 to 1,376.05, hurt by a late-day slide in Cisco Systems Inc.

On the broad market, the Russell 2,000 index of smaller companies rose 0.08 to 369.53; the Wilshire 5,000 index rose 10.96 to 7,586.75; the American Stock Exchange composite index climbed 0.94 to 589.71; and the S&P; mid-cap index slid 0.22 to 264.67.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining issues by 1,382 to 1,116 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 463.6 million shares, about average for the past three months.

Automakers' shares fell after a prediction by the chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association that a weakening economy and higher-than-expected inflation will lead to a modest decline in U.S. sales of new vehicles this year. Chrysler Corp. slid 12.5 cents to $34.75 despite reporting that its U.S. sales of cars and trucks rose 2 percent in January because of stronger car volume. General Motors Corp. fell 62.5 cents to $58.375 after reporting that its car and truck sales declined 1.5 percent during the month.

United Technologies Corp., which makes Otis elevators and Pratt & Whitney jet engines, fell 75 cents to $69.

Caterpillar Inc., a maker of tractors and earth moving equipment, lost $1 to $76.625.

A drop in bond yields to 6.73 percent, their lowest in a month, gave investors some comfort that some of last year's leaders could continue their advance.

BankAmerica rose $1.625 to a record $113.25. Citicorp gained $2 to $118.375.

Intel Corp. rose even after a Semiconductor Industry Association report that the chip industry's worldwide December sales fell 1 percent from November. Plans by Korea's Samsung Corp. to cut production may increase demand for chips from Intel, up $1.625 to $163.875.

Other chip makers fell. Texas Instruments lost $2.625 to $75.75. Applied Materials Inc., a maker of equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, fell $1.375 to $48.

Motorola Inc. fell $1.50 to $66.75 after the maker of semiconductors and cellular phones said its computer unit will reorganize into two divisions, for commercial and technical products.

Shares of Wet Seal Inc. and Urban Outfitters Inc. rose after Barron's reported that teen-oriented retailers are getting a boost from girls who are trading in the grunge look for dressier wardrobes. Wet Seal rose $1.375 to $21.50 and Urban Outfitters gained $1.125 to $13.25.

Transocean Offshore Inc.'s shares fell $5.50 to $60 after it said its fourth-quarter earnings will be 15 cents to 20 cents a share below analysts' average forecast of 56 cents because of higher costs and poor results in its Gulf of Mexico operations.

Gillette Co. shares fell $1.125 to $81.375. While the company said fourth-quarter earnings rose more than expected on strong sales of its personal-care products, foreign exchange losses rose, and the company's purchase of Duracell International Inc. won't add to earnings as soon as some analysts expected.

Silicon Gaming Inc. shares fell $1.375 to $18.875 after the Wall Street Journal reported that its electronic gambling machines weren't as popular as older, less computerized slot machines.

Pub Date: 2/04/97

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad