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Stocks Move Lower; Dow Down 16.22

December 3, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened lower today, although a quick recovery among the blue chips lifted some market measures into positive territory.

At 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 16.22 at 9,048.32 after sliding as much as 62 points in the opening minutes.

Broader stock indicators turned mixed after the weak opening, with several indexes posting slim gains, but declining issues still outnumbering advancers overall.

There was limited reaction to news of an unexpected reduction in lending rates by most of the major European central banks. The coordinated move comes as 11 European countries prepare to launch a common currency on Jan. 1.

The Deutsche Bundesbank of Germany attributed the move to a weak outlook for a European economy weighed down by the Asian and Russian financial crises.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the productivity of American workers grew at a healthy 3 percent annual rate over the summer even as manufacturers struggled with sales lost to the Asian economic slump.

In other trading today, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.29 at 1,171.54, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 14.53 at 2,009.74 as the buying among Internet and bellwether technology names continued.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 9-to-7 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, and by a 4-to-3 ratio on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

NYSE volume came to 95.77 million shares, up from 84.46 million early Wednesday.

The NYSE composite index was down 0.31 at 571.48, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 1.72 at 658.22.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.9 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany’s DAX index was up 0.7 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 was down 0.7 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was up 1.1 percent.

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