Dow ends up 23, after day of decline Drug, oil companies help average regain loss; other indexes are mixed


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks closed mixed yesterday, as late-day rallies in oil and drug shares erased a 127-point loss in the Dow Jones industrial average, offsetting a slump in the companies most dependent on sales to economically troubled Asia.

The Dow finished up 23.17 to 8,834.94, after falling to a three-month low of 8,684.22. Chevron Corp. led the way, rising $3.3125 to $81.25. A drop in the price of oil to below $13 a barrel sent oil shares tumbling this week, and some investors are speculating that crude prices are near a bottom.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.26 to 1,098.84 and the Nasdaq composite index, dominated by computer companies, lost 4.70 to 1,745.05.

Among other broad market indexes, the Russell 2,000 index of small capitalization stocks slid 2.76 to 441.59; the Wilshire 5,000 index gained 15.54 to 10,316.19; the American Stock Exchange composite index lost 1.65 to 697.40; and the S&P; 400 midcap index fell 1.66 to 352.01.

The Bloomberg Maryland index, which tracks the top 100 stocks in Maryland by market valuation, fell 1.32 to 227.59.

Ten waves of buy programs and seven sell programs had a net effect of adding 103 points to the Dow industrials, according to Birinyi Associates Inc., a Greenwich, Conn., research firm.

Even with yesterday's rebound in the Dow, declining stocks led advancers on the New York Stock Exchange by a 2-to-1 ratio. About 633 million shares changed hands on the Big Board, the most for a Friday in eight weeks.

There is no sign of a bottom in small stocks. The Russell 2000 small-stock index is down 10 percent from its record set April 21. Many investors consider a 10 percent decline "a correction" in a bull market.

For the week, the Dow lost 2.2 percent, the S&P; 500 slid 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq fell 2.1 percent.

Makers of equipment used to produce semiconductors were hit especially hard by weak Asian demand. ASM Lithography Holding NV plunged $5.1875 to $29.125 after the world's second largest chip making-equipment company said canceled orders from Taiwanese customers will hurt profits for the rest of the year.

ASM's slide caused other semiconductor-industry companies to fall. KLA-Tencor Corp. lost $2.1875 to $24.9375, a 52-week low, although the No. 1 company, Applied Materials Inc., rose 45.31 cents to $28.7031.

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., a supplier of silicon wafers used to make microchips, said its second-quarter loss would widen from the prior quarter's because of economic turmoil in Asia and falling prices for semiconductors. MEMC fell $2.625 to $10.

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor index has fallen 42 percent from its record in August.

The Labor Department said prices paid to factories, farmers and other producers rose 0.2 percent last month, more than the 0.1 percent expected by economists. Most analysts say other drug and medical care prices will probably rise further.

Drugmakers rose, including Pfizer Inc., up $2.25 to $109.3125, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., up $4.50 to $116.375.

Big banks that do a lot of business in Asia slumped. Chase Manhattan Corp. fell $1.50 to $138.5625 and BankAmerica Corp. lost $1.6875 to $85.625.

Brunswick Corp. fell $3.625 to $25.1875 after the maker of bowling and recreation equipment said lower-than-expected sales will cause second-quarter earnings to fall below estimates.

Brush Wellman Inc. fell 75 cents to $20 after the maker of metal alloys said its second-quarter earnings could fall by 50 percent, partly because of a weakening of U.S. and Asian electronics markets. The company made the announcement yesterday afternoon, and the stock slid 15 percent in the last 20 minutes of trading.

Pub Date: 6/13/98

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