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Stocks opened lower this morning, led by Hewlett-Packard Co. afte

May 16, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened lower this morning, led by Hewlett-Packard Co. after the nation’s No. 2 computer maker reported earnings that fell below Wall Street expectations.

At 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 40.39 at 7,293.16, erasing much of Thursday’s 47-point climb that sent the blue-chip index to a record high and its first close above 7,300.

Most broad-market measures were also lower.

Hewlett-Packard was down 6 1/4 at 52 5/8 in early trading after the computer maker reported late Thursday that its sales and profits rose 8 percent in the latest quarter, below analysts’ forecasts.

The decline in Hewlett-Packard also dragged down other computer stocks, including IBM, off 1 1/4 at 172 5/8 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also hurting stocks this morning was a Commerce Department report that said new housing construction was up 2.6 percent in April, faster than economists had expected.

The report countered some recent signs that economic activity may be slowing enough to keep a lid on inflationary pressures without another increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s policy-makers, who in late March boosted one of the central bank’s short-term lending rates, are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a narrow margin on the NYSE, where volume came to 98.90 million shares, up from Thursday’s early pace.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 list was down 3.19 at 838.69, and the NYSE composite index was down 1.05 at 436.60.

The Nasdaq composite index was down 2.50 at 1,351.08, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was up 1.91 at 585.38.

Overseas, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average rose 1.3 percent and Frankfurt’s DAX index rose 1.2 percent. In afternoon trading, London’s FT-SE 100 was up 0.4 percent.

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