NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday as declines in Eastman Kodak Co. and WorldCom Inc. offset optimism that a strong U.S. economy will prevent a repeat of last month's 7 percent drop in the stock market.
For a second day, stocks rallied early and then drifted lower for the rest of the day as investors mulled signs of a slowdown in Asia and sturdy growth in the United States for clues to the next big move in U.S. equities.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 6.14 to 7,558.73. The Dow would have been up more than 20 points but for Kodak's drop, which came after the photography company said it would fire 11 percent of its work force in the latest in a series of restructurings that have yet to boost profit. Kodak shares fell $4.06 to $62.19.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 2.65 to 923.78 and the Nasdaq composite index fell 5.86 to 1,584.86, dragged down by losses in WorldCom and MCI Communications Corp., which agreed Monday to merge. WorldCom lost 75 cents to $30.25, and MCI was unchanged at $41.50.
In related trading, SBC Communications Inc. rose $2.1875 to $67.1875; Bell Atlantic Corp. gained $2.3125 to $83.4375; and Ameritech Corp. jumped $2.5625 to $70.25.
Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks fell 1.97 to 433.43; the Wilshire 5,000 index, comprising stocks on the New York, American and Nasdaq stock exchanges, added 8.26 to 8,925.69; the American Stock Exchange composite index lost .04 to 680.43; and the S&P; 400 mid-cap index slid 1.11 to 318.24.
The bond market was closed for the Veterans Day holiday, leaving the stock market without guidance on interest rates. Many investors also are waiting for U.S. Federal Reserve policy-makers to meet today.
The consensus is that the Fed will leave its overnight bank lending target unchanged at 5.5 percent. Still, many investors want confirmation before they go ahead with big, new bets.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing issues by 14 to 13 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was the lowest since Oct. 13, with 438 million shares changing hands.
The early gains in U.S. stocks came after Asian markets rallied, heartening investors that the turmoil overseas may be ending. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.08 percent to 15,867.23 yesterday, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.11 percent to 10,004.13.
Oil shares rose after five days of losses. Amoco Corp. gained $2.1875 to $92; Texaco Inc. rose 75 cents to $57; and DuPont Co., owner of oil producer Conoco, gained $2 to $60.50.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 50 cents to $37.125 after the retailer reported third-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, a penny above the average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call and up from 30 cents a year ago.
J. C. Penney Co. jumped $1.625 to $62 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share, in line with the average estimate.
Dillard's Inc. fell $2.5625 to $35.50 after the company said it earned 40 cents a share in the latest quarter, a penny short of analyst estimates.
Pennzoil Co. tumbled $7.75 to $67.75 after Union Pacific Resources Group Inc. said it will end its hostile $84-a-share takeover bid for Pennzoil unless Pennzoil enters into talks, or shows that its value as a whole hasn't declined.
Among small stocks, online broker E Trade Group Inc. fell $2.75 to $26.50 after rival Quick & Reilly Group Inc. slashed prices for online trading.
Since September 1996, E Trade officers and directors have sold more than 2 million shares in 32 separate transactions, according to the Washington Service, which tracks insider sales.
"Everybody on the senior management team was dumping it; hey knew it was coming," one broker said of the stock drop.
Pub Date: 11/12/97