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Stocks Open Lower; Dow Down 55.80

February 4, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened lower today as investors secured some profits from a rally that has put the Dow Jones industrial average within reach of its first record high in six months.

At 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 55.80 at 8,104.55. The blue-chip barometer has risen nearly 450 points, or 6 percent, over the past six sessions, moving within 100 points of its all-time best close of 8,259.31, set back on Aug. 6.

Most broad-market indicators were also giving back part of their recent gains, which has pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 and New York Stock Exchange composite to record highs for two straight days. Stocks began rallying last week as tensions began to subside with regard to the economic crisis in Asia and the political crisis at the White House.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers this morning by a 3-to-2 margin on the NYSE, where volume came to 78.59 million shares, on par with the hectic pace that’s produced a final tally of more than 700 million in four of the past five sessions.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 list, which on Monday crossed the 1,000-mark for the first time, was down 4.86 at 1,002.11, and the NYSE composite index was down 2.30 at 520.70.

The Nasdaq composite index was down 3.09 at 1,663.25,

But the American Stock Exchange composite index, which didn’t take part on Tuesday’s rally, was up 0.79 at 671.87.

Overseas, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.8 percent. In afternoon trading, Frankfurt’s DAX index was down 1.0 percent and London’s FT-SE 100 was down 0.6 percent.

On Tuesday, stocks rose modestly, wiping out the remaining damage from October’s selloff. The Dow rose 52.57 to 8,160.35, its best finish since Oct. 7, about three weeks before it took a record plunge of 554-points on Oct. 27 amid a financial panic in Asia.

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