Stocks Down a Bit; Dow Unchanged
Feb. 11, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened slightly lower today despite a new report that showed retail sales in January were lower than expected, a sign of moderate economic growth.
In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged at 10,643.63.
The Nasdaq composite index was down 14.66 at 4,470.97, and the broader market index, the Standard & Poor's 500, slipped 7.16 to 1,409.67.
The technology stocks weighing down the Nasdaq this morning included Cisco Systems, which was down 3 1/4 at 132 11/16, and Microsoft, down 3 1/4 at 102 3/4.
Investors appeared to have little reaction to new Commerce Department data that showed Americans spent selectively in January, pushing up retail sales by just 0.3 percent as they bought less furniture and food but purchased more cars.
January's performance was weaker than the 0.6 percent rise many analysts were forecasting and marked the slowest pace since a 0.3 percent increase in October.
Since consumer spending accounts for the bulk of economic growth, the report had been expected to calm some worries about interest rate increases this year. The Federal Reserve has already raised rates four times since June, hoping to slow the economy and prevent inflation from accelerating.
The Russell 2000 index, which reflects the performance of smaller company stocks, was up 1.07 to 543.28.
Declining stocks were almost even with advancing stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 138.09 million shares, slightly higher than the 135.94 million shares the same time Thursday.
In overseas trading, Japan's Nikkei stock index fell 1.49 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was off 1.7 percent, while Germany's DAX index was down 0.33 percent and the CAC 40 index in Paris was up 0.09 percent.