Dow Down 36.92; Nasdaq Down 8.95
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks fell modestly in early trading today as this week’s flood of company profit reports eased in advance of the weekend.
In the first hour of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 36.92 at 11,314.38, extending Thursday’s 138-point drop.
Broader stock indicators were mostly lower, although smaller-company shares were showing some strength. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 2.65 at 1,442.92, and the technology-dominated Nasdaq composite index was down 8.95 at 4,180.56 after closing at record highs Wednesday and yesterday.
There were no government economic reports to steer the market, and the only major development among the 30 companies that comprise the Dow was a strong fourth-quarter report by Caterpillar. However, shares of the heavy equipment maker slipped 5/8 point to 46 1/2.
Likewise, Sun Microsystems fell 2 /14 to 84 5/16 despite a better-than-expected profit report late Thursday by the producer of hardware and software for the Internet and other computer networks. Sun’s stock had rallied more than 25 percent over the past two weeks.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a slender margin on the New York Stock Exchange, while gainers led in Nasdaq trading. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was up 1.65 at 528.93.
NYSE volume came to 227.71 million shares, up from 142.91 million at the same point on Thursday.
Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.68 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany’s DAX index was down 0.70 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 was up 0.17 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was up 0.18 percent.