Several stock indexes hit 1997 lows Russell 2,000 drops 6.39, to 342.56; bank shares are weak


NEW YORK -- Broad market indexes tumbled yesterday, following the Dow Jones industrial average and other major indexes downward.

The Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks fell 6.39 to 342.56; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, plummeted 163.30 to 7,213.53; the American Stock Exchange composite index dropped 9.19 to 568.71; and the S&P; 400 mid-cap index slumped 6.92 to 250.84.

All of those but the Wilshire 5,000 hit lows for the year.

Some 2,150 stocks fell and 541 rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where some 556 million shares traded.

The three-month daily average is 509 million shares.

The slide in the market came as the yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond hovered at 7.09 percent, its highest since September.

Bank shares dropped amid concern that rising rates will make it less profitable to make loans. The Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. bank index fell 20.07 to 560.86, and has lost 14 percent of its value since March 10.

BankAmerica Corp. fell $5.125 to $100.875; Chase Manhattan Corp. lost $2.50 to $93.875; Bank of New York Co. fell $1.25 to $36.75; and Mellon Bank Corp. fell $2.50 to $72.75.

Citicorp slumped $2.75 to $108.25, and is down 14 percent since setting a record $126.375 March 10.

A big decliner was Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., which dropped $3.875 to $33.625. The largest U.S. hospital company has been under scrutiny for its Medicare billing and its practice of giving doctors ownership stakes in hospitals.

Shiva Corp. plunged $3.0625 to $8.8125 after the computer networking equipment maker said it will report an unexpected first-quarter loss because of fierce competition from rivals such as U.S. Robotics Corp. The company also said Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Deysher resigned for personal reasons.

The stock market had its share of advancing issues, and two of the biggest ones rose on mergers and acquisitions.

Belden & Blake Corp. rallied $5.125 to $25.875 after Texas Pacific Group, an investment partnership, said it will buy the oil and natural gas company for about $304 million.

Dynamics Corp. of America climbed $5 to $38.125 after WHX Corp. made an unsolicited offer to acquire the maker of electronic components and commercial appliances for $160 million, or $40 a share. WHX fell 25 cents to $6.75.

Ford Motor Co. climbed 50 cents to $31.375; tractor maker Deere & Co. rose 25 cents to $43.50; and metals company Phelps Dodge Corp. rose 50 cents to $73.125.

Ascend Communications Inc. dived $11.25 to $40.75 on concern that its planned purchase of Cascade Communications Inc. will hurt earnings. Cascade lost $2 to $26.375.

Ascend , Cascade, Cisco Systems Inc., Columbia/HCA HealthCare and Intel Corp. were the most active stocks traded yesterday.

Accent Color Sciences Inc. tumbled $3.25 to $5.125 after the color printing systems maker said Xerox Corp. decided against distributing Accent's product under the Xerox brand name.

Liposome Co. slid $2.6875 to $20.375 after the biotechnology company said it expects to post a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss of 10 cents to 13 cents a share.

Gartner Group Inc. jumped $1.25 to $21.625.

The provider of market research, analysis and advisory services to the computer industry said it expects fiscal second-quarter net income of 17 cents to 18 cents a share, up from 12 cents a year ago.

Kronos Inc. slumped $5.50 to $17.50. The maker of computer systems to track personnel said it expects fiscal second-quarter profit to be less than analysts expected.

Alkermes Inc. slumped $6.25 to $14 after the company said its experimental compound used to send a cancer drug directly to brain-tumor cells didn't work in a trial.

Reader's Digest Association Inc. tumbled $4 to $28.75. The publisher and direct marketer said fiscal third-quarter and full-year earnings will be lower than expected because of slower sales, particularly in Europe.

Pub Date: 4/01/97

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