NEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market declined slightly today amid continuing uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials dropped 4.97 to 1,858.32 in the first hour of trading.
Losers held a narrow lead over gainers in the early tally of New York Stock Exchange-listed issues.
Interest rates have been on the rise lately as evidence has accumulated that economic growth might be speeding up.
The stock market’s response so far has been ambivalent, with traders alternatively showing concern about the interest-rate rise and some optimism about prospects for corporate earnings.
Today, open-market interest rates were mixed - steady to down slightly in the short-term Treasury bill market but higher on long-term government bonds.
Investors in both markets are expected to take their next cue from the government’s report Friday on the employment situation for May. Analysts expect the unemployment rate to show no great change from 7.0 percent, its reading for April.
Among actively traded blue chips, Sears Roebuck rose 1/8 to 47 ; Eastman Kodak 1/4 to 61 1/2 , and American Telephone & Telegraph 1/8 to 24 5/8 . However, McDonald’s dropped 7/8 to 100.
The NYSE’s composite index of all its listed common stocks slipped .27 to 139.93. At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index was down .39 at 279.61.
On Wednesday the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 7.14 to 1,863.29.
Declining issues outnumbered advances by almost 9 to 5 on the NYSE. Big Board volume totaled 116.96 million shares, against 114.71 million in the previous session.