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Stocks Pullback, Dow Down 52

August 26, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks recovered partially by midday from a steep plunge that followed Tuesday’s late pullback and another series of sharp declines on foreign markets.

At noon on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 52.52 at 8,550.13 after sliding 135 points during the first hour of trading. The Dow gained just 36 points on Tuesday as a 122-point rally fizzled near the close.

Broad-market indicators also bounced back partially from today’s weak opening, which followed a weak showing on several key markets overseas.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei stock average fell 1.4 percent amid mounting fears that political wrangling will further delay measures to relieve the bad debt problems crippling Japan’s banking system.

Parliament began debate Tuesday on a series of bills aimed at speeding up the write-off of bad loans, but progress stalled today when opposition parties boycotted a key committee meeting after a dispute over procedures.

In Europe, meanwhile, markets sank amid disappointment over the Russian debt restructuring plan announced Tuesday.

Russia’s acting prime minister tried to reassure investors today after bonds plunged in value under the drastic plan to restructure $40 billion in short-term debt, but the main Russian stock index plummeted 13.8 percent.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt’s the DAX index fell 2.6 percent, London’s FT-SE 100 fell 1.9 percent, and the Paris CAC-40 fell 2.9 percent.

In other U.S. trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 8.80 at 1,084.05, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 27.00 at 1,771.17.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by nearly a 4-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 300.25 million shares, almost even with Tuesday’s busy pace.

The NYSE composite index was down 3.78 at 541.23, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 10.73 at 636.13.

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