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Dow Down 41.60 in Profit-Taking

February 20, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Profit-taking sent stocks lower at midday as investors cashed in on Wall Street’s recent rally.

At noon on Wall Street, the Dow was down 41.60 at 8,333.98, extending the selloff that began Thursday with a 75-point decline. Broad-market indexes were also down.

Investors were looking for profits on the Dow’s 270-point climb in the past week, which came from six consecutive record-breaking sessions. It was its longest winning streak since the eight straight new highs that followed President Clinton’s re-election in November 1996.

Blue-chip stocks were hardest hit by the profit-taking, but many bellwether technology issues, which rallied Thursday and rose initially today, declined by late morning.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 271.65 million shares, up from 268.15 million shares on Thursday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 list was down 3.03 at 1,025.25, the NYSE composite index was down 1.56 at 533.45 and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 1.94 at 686.92.

The Nasdaq composite index was down 7.17 at 1,719.84, weighed down by weakness in Microsoft and Applied Materials.

Hurting the Dow was weakness in Hewlett Packard, down 1 1/8 at 63 13/16, and Johnson & Johnson, down 1 1/16 at 69 1/2.

Overseas, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.8 percent, Frankfurt’s DAX index rose 0.4 percent and London’s FT-SE 100 rose 0.6 percent.

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