Stocks slump amid interest worries Dow industrials tumble 66 points, to 6,852; Nasdaq manages a gain


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell for a fourth time in five days as concern spread that interest rates might rise and lure investors away from stock investments. Chrysler Corp. and General Motors Corp. led the slide.

The highest bond yields in more than a month led some investors to conclude that the risk of owning stocks may not be worth the additional return over an investment in fixed-income investments like certificates of deposit or Treasury bills.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 66.20 to 6,852.72, after rising 23.86 points earlier. The 30-stock average is now down more than 3 percent since its record 7,067.46 close Feb. 18. DuPont Co. led yesterday's decline, falling 2.75 to 108.625. The Dow Jones transportation average climbed 31.13 to a record 2,404.24.

The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond rose to 6.86 percent from 6.83 percent Monday.

On the broad market, the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.36 to 790.95. The Nasdaq composite index, filled with computer, semiconductor and software shares, climbed 6.19 to 1,317.37.

The Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks rose 1.42 to 361.91; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, dropped 18.12 to 7,573.41; the American Stock Exchange composite index gained 2.22 to 597.04; and the S&P; 400 mid-cap index rose 1.49 to 263.68.

About 1,420 stocks rose and 1,129 shares fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 537 million shares changed hands. The three-month daily average is 486 million shares.

The most active stocks in U.S. trading were AT&T; Corp., Intel, Cisco, 3Com Corp. and Micron Technology Inc.

The prospect of higher rates hurt shares of automakers, whose sales depend in part on car buyers getting attractive rates to borrow money. GM said Monday that its U.S. vehicle sales fell 7.1 percent, and Chrysler said its sales were down 2.8 percent. Ford said yesterday that sales fell 3.1 percent.

The S&P; auto stock index dropped 11.07, or 4 percent, to 264.52. General Motors slid $2 to $57.25; Chrysler dropped $1.625 to $32; and Ford Motor Co. slid $1.125 to $32.

Oil stocks benefited from concern about higher interest rates, and the AMEX oil stock index jumped 4.08 to 390.44, or 1.1 percent, to 390.44.

Mobil rose $2 to $127.50; Texaco Inc. climbed $3 to $101.75; Amoco Corp. rallied $1.125 to $84.375; and Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. rallied $2.125 to $172.75. Schlumberger Ltd. climbed $4.375 to $102.875.

Federated Department Stores Inc. rose 37.5 cents to $35.50 after it said fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 16 percent, excluding a charge for integrating Broadway Stores Inc. and R. H. Macy & Co. Earnings of $1.65 a share beat analysts' estimates of $1.57.

Viacom Inc. rose 62.5 cents to $36.50 after the company reported profit from continuing operations of 1 cent a share. Analysts expected Viacom to lose 13 cents a share.

Tupperware Corp. tumbled $8.25 to $35.875 after forecasting that first-quarter earnings would decline from a year earlier.

UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, climbed $4.25 to $64.125 after the company said strong January and February traffic will boost results for the first three months of the year. Delta Air Lines Inc. jumped $1 to $83.25; Southwest Airlines Co. jumped 37 1/2 cents to $24.125; and US Air Group Inc. climbed 37.5 cents to $20.25. AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, bucked the trend, falling 50 cents to $80.25.

A second-day rally in shares of semiconductor and computer companies helped the Nasdaq Stock Market. Dell Computer Corp. rose 43.75 cents to $73.0625; Intel added 50 cents to $146.375; Cisco Systems went up $1.50 to $55.75; America Online Inc. jumped $3 to $43; Xilinx Inc. climbed $1.625 to $46.625; and Ascend Communications Inc. shot up $3.3125 to $58.

Pub Date: 3/05/97

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