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Dow Drops 82 in Early Trading

August 26, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened sharply lower today, following through on Tuesday’s late pullback, after another series of sharp declines on foreign markets.

At 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 82.64 at 8,520.01, quickly wiping out the 69-point gain of the prior two sessions.

Broad-market indicators also slid at the open, pressured by 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 writeoff 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. In afternoon trading, Frankfurt’s DAX index was down 2.2 percent, London’s FT-SE 100 was down 2.2 percent, and Paris’ CAC-40 was down 2.2 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 13.96 at 1,078.89, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 30.52.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a more than a 4-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 80.08 million shares, on par with Tuesday’s busy pace.

The NYSE composite index was down 5.02 at 539.99, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 8.20 at 638.66.

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