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Stocks fall on worry about exports Dow industrials drop 42 points, to 9,027; Nasdaq also declines; Wall Street


NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell for the first time in three days, led by Procter & Gamble Co. and other companies that depend on exports, after Union Carbide Corp. warned that slow Asian sales will crimp its fourth-quarter earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.49, to 9,027.98, paring an earlier 124-point loss. Procter & Gamble accounted for one-third of the decline.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 6.32, to 1,181.38, and the Nasdaq composite index declined 5.89, to 2,034.75.

Elsewhere on the broad market, the Russell 2,000 index of

small-capitalization stocks edged 0.31 higher, to 401.48; the Wilshire 5,000 index fell 40.43, to 10,808.66; the American Stock Exchange composite index advanced 1.91, to 666.25; and the S&P; 400 midcap index slid 1.75, to 358.93.

The Sun-Bloomberg Maryland index of the top 100 Maryland stocks slipped 0.53, to 192.71.

About three stocks fell on the New York Stock Exchange for every two that rose. A total of 727 million shares changed hands, down from a three-month average of 747 million.

Much of the volatility in the market yesterday was fueled by six computer-guided sell programs and three buy programs, according to Birinyi Associates. The programs had the net effect of a 138-point decline in the Dow, Birinyi said.

Procter & Gamble, which makes almost half of its sales outside the United States, fell $3.625, to $86.75, after Union Carbide, the largest U.S. maker of chemicals used in antifreeze, polyester film and plastics, said its quarterly profit from operations will fall more than expected, in part because of weak Asian demand. Union Carbide shares dropped $2, to $42.

Rohm and Haas Co., a maker of specialty chemicals, fell $1.625, to $32.3125, after saying fourth-quarter earnings may be at the low end of analysts' estimates because of slowing Asian economies.

AT&T; rose $2.25, to $67, its biggest jump since Oct. 22, after it agreed to pay $5 billion to buy IBM's global network business.

Financial services companies and banks such as J. P. Morgan & Co. and American Express Co. fell, as slowing economies from Asia to Latin America threaten to erode their profit. J. P. Morgan fell $3.25, to $106.5625, and American Express Co. slipped $3.1875, to $97.

Intel Corp. and other semiconductor stocks rose amid optimism that strong sales of personal computers and networking

equipment will sustain the recent boom in chip sales into 1999.

Intel, the world's biggest chip maker, rose $1.125, to $120.0625, in trading of 24.8 million shares, making it the second-most-active stock in U.S. markets. Earlier, it reached a record $124. Texas Instruments Inc. gained 31.25 cents, to $86; Micron Technology Inc. rose $1.625, to $52.875; and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. added 50 cents, to $32.

Furniture retailer Heilig-Meyers Co. fell 93.75 cents, to $7.3125, after warning that fiscal third-quarter earnings will be "significantly below" analysts' expectations because of lower-than-expected sales.

Amerada Hess Corp., the 13th-largest U.S. oil company, dropped $1.4375, to $53, after it said it will scale back its oil-exploration program, cut 400 jobs, and slash its 1999 spending budget 38 percent to $900 million because of low oil prices.

Capital One Financial Corp. fell $5.75, to $107, after the credit-card company said Chief Financial Officer James Zin will leave Jan. 31 to pursue other opportunities.

Trading in American depositary receipts of Zeneca Group PLC and Astra AB was halted after Zeneca said the companies are in advanced merger talks.

Global TeleSystems Group Inc., a U.S. owner of phone companies in Europe, rose $5.125, to $46.875, after it agreed to buy United Kingdom-based Esprit Telecom Group PLC for about $665 million in stock, forming a telecommunications services company with operations in 11 countries in Western Europe.

Pub Date: 12/09/98

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