Stocks Lower; Dow Down 54
NEW YORK (AP) _ Blue-chip stocks were lower at midday, but indomitable strength in technology shares sent broad market higher.
Internet stocks were up sharply, prompting analysts and investors to wonder, again, how high they can go.
``It just gets more incredible every day,″ Barry Hyman, senior equity analyst at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum.
At noon on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 54.06 at 9,589.26.
The Nasdaq composite, however, which is heavily weighted in technology stocks, was up 11.57 at 2,355.98. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was off 10.78 t 1,264.31, but the American stock exchange market value index was unchanged at 707.76, and the Russell 2000 was down 0.05 at 431.18.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 9-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 356.1 million shares, off from Friday’s pace.
Blue-chip stocks were dragged down by a softer dollar, which began last week to gain prominence as a concern in the stock market because it is pushing interest rates higher.
The dollar was trading at 108.77 yen, down from 111.32 yen late Friday. The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was down 1/2 point, and its yield, which moves opposite the price, was just under 5.30 percent, up from 5.27 percent late Friday.
Higher interest rates generally are not good for stocks because they would raise corporations’ operating costs and could cut into earnings.
Larry Wachtel, market analyst at Prudential Securities, said blue chips were pulling back after making strong gains last week. The Dow gained 5 percent in the first trading week of the year.
Consumer stocks were lower today because they had been higher last week, Wachtel said, and the opposite is true today about cyclical stocks, which have been out of favor.
``From time to time the excesses have to pause,″ Wachtel said, ``but it isn’t like we’re getting clobbered here.″
Among Dow components, was down 3 13/16 115, Procter & Gamble was down 2 7/16 at 86 3/4, and General Electric was down 2 7/16 at 99 15/16. Procter & Gamble was down 2 7/16 at 86 3/4.
General Motors was up 6 at 86 1/16. The carmaker expects its new full-size pickup trucks to generate higher profit margins, The Wall Street Journal reports. On Monday, GM said it built 15,000 more vehicles than originally estimated in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1998, and J.P. Morgan raised its price target on GM stock to $95.
Meanwhile, Internet stocks were sharply higher, including Amazon.com, up 15 at 175 1/4; Lycos, up 8 7/8 at 100 5/8; and Yahoo, up 41 3/8 at 385.