Stocks mixed computer issues fall; Dow industrials rise 4 points, to 6,931; Nasdaq sheds 13; Wall Street


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed amid yesterday concern that 1997's 10 percent surge in share prices has run out of steam. Losses in Intel Corp. and other computer-related shares hampered the market for a third day.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.24 to 6,931.62, after seesawing between a 23-point gain and a 21-point loss. The Dow ended the week 7.5 percent higher than it began the year seven weeks ago.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.03 to 801.77 and the Nasdaq composite index fell 13.08 to 1,334.32. All three market measures closed down for the week, after the Dow and S&P; set records Tuesday.

On the broader market, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks gained lost 1.19 to 366.37; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq exchanges, dropped 18.28 to 7,668.96; the American Stock Exchange composite index slid 0.14 to 597.29; and the S&P; mid-cap index fell 1.04 to 265.05.

Shares of Intel, Oracle Corp. and Cisco Systems led the decline amid concern that leading computer-industry stocks may have overshot the companies' immediate earnings potential.

The average computer-related stock in the S&P; 500 doubled that of other S&P; stocks last year.

Intel, which more than doubled during the past 12 months, fell $3.50 to $146.375; Oracle fell 87.5 cents to $40.875; and Cisco declined $4.625 to $58.375.

Cisco's drop came after the company said it will slow the rate at which it hires employee. The stock was the most actively traded on U.S. exchanges yesterday. Cisco is down 22 percent from its Jan. 21 high of $74.875.

Some 483 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, with advancers outpacing decliners 1,312 to 1,178. Trading was lighter than average, considering that February options on stocks and indexes expired yesterday, an event that usually causes increased volume as investors are forced to deliver stock or cash to cover the value of their options.

Oil shares gained. Chevron Corp. rose $1 to $66.625; Exxon Corp. climbed 62.5 cents to $103.75; and Texaco Inc. rose $1 to $102.50.

Chubb Corp. rose 87.5 cents to $58 after people familiar with the situation said the company is close to selling its real estate unit, with the front-runners being Patriot American Corp. and Beacon Properties Corp.

Scholastic Corp. shares plummeted $24.75 to $36.75 after the publisher warned it will report a fiscal third-quarter loss of between 70 cents and 80 cents a share.

Analysts expected the company to earn 69 cents a share.

Kmart Corp. rose 31.25 cents to $11.1875 after Kmart and El Puerto de Liverpool SA said they will sell their Mexican retail joint venture to Controloadora Comercial Mexicana SA for $148.5 million in cash.

American Stores Co. fell 12.5 cents to $44.875 after the company said it will buy back 12.2 million common shares at $45 each, or about $550 million, from the family of former Chairman L. S. Skaggs.

Pub Date: 2/22/97

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