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Stocks End Mixed; Dow Down 37.46

May 21, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices were mixed today as investors, worried about the effect rising interest rates might have on big-name stocks, moved money into small-cap issues.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 37.46 at 10,829.28.

Broader stock indicators were mixed. Most indexes were lower, but advancers outnumbered decliners on the New York Stock Exchange. Advancers and decliers were about even on the Nasdaq stock market.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 8.54 to 1,330.29, and the Nasdaq composite fell 21.59 to 2,520.64.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,620 up, 1,352 down and 562 unchanged.

NYSE volume totaled 685.49 million shares as of 4 p.m., vs. 744.00 million in the previous session.

The NYSE composite index fell 2.55 to 636.87, and the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 3.34 to 795.37.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1.12 to 449.14.

``Some of the money coming out of the large-cap stocks is just looking for a new home,″ said Tony Cecin, director of institutional trading at Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis.

There was little news to affect the overall market. Cosmetics maker Revlon, a frequent topic of takeover speculation, rose throughout the session amid rumors it will be acquired by Coty, a fragrance company.

Among Dow components, IBM led the decliners. Big-name computer stocks have slipped in the past few sessions as investors moved money toward smaller companies and less volatile sectors like utilities.

``People are questioning what to do with some of these premier leaders,″ said Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at George K. Baum & Co. in Kansas City, Mo. ``There’s a lot of indecision and a lack of investor commitment.″

Pharmaceutical maker Merck, counting on a boost after the Food and Drug Administration approved its new pain pill Vioxx, instead saw its shares fall off slightly.

Shares of Dow component General Motors rose, following the lead of Delphi Automotive, the auto parts unit GM spun off. Delphi shares were modestly higher in heavy trading after Standard & Poor’s said it would add the stock to its S&P 500 index.

Eastman Kodak fell after an analyst said it will keep losing market share to Fuji Photo Film Co.

With all the shifting fortunes of blue-chip companies, analysts were reluctant to draw many conclusions. Stocks have traded in a narrow range for several days as investors struggle to determine whether a burgeoning rise in inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in an effort to slow the economy.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged Tuesday but warned that it may raise rates if more signs of inflation appear. Rising rates poses two problems for Wall Street: They lower corporate profits, and they also make bonds a more attractive alternative to stocks.

Today was a ``double witching″ day, when stock and index options expire and traders adjust their portfolios.

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