Most Stocks Up but Dow Off 18.68
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks were mostly higher today, but blue-chip issues retreated after an early rally, undermining the market’s attempted rebound from Monday’s selloff.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18.68 points to close at 8,898.96, according to preliminary calculations. It had fallen from an early 89-point gain to a 54-point loss during the day. .
Broader stock measures also pulled back from the morning’s highs, but several finished modestly higher. The Nasdaq composite index posted the biggest gain after suffering the heaviest damage on Monday.
Procter & Gamble, Eastman Kodak and Chevron were the weakest Dow components, offsetting sizable gains from Disney and Merck.
The Dow lost 147 points on Monday amid suggestions that the Federal Reserve is mulling an increase in interest rates to slow the economy and keep inflation in check.
The inflation-sensitive bond market, jolted by Monday’s developments, struggled again today, with the yield on the 30-year Treasury pushing further above 6 percent. The long-bond yield, which on Monday rose above 6 percent for the first time since early march, is used to calculate the interest charged on many types of loans.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Fed policy makers are no longer pondering a cut in the central bank’s lending rates to offset the economic slowdown in Asia.
With the situation in Asia stabilizing, the officials have apparently refocused on inflationary pressures at home and may even boost rates to slow the economy, the article said, citing the unreleased minutes of a March 31 meeting.
Overseas today, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.6 percent, Frankfurt’s DAX index fell 1.4 percent and London’s FT-SE 100 rose 1.5 percent.