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Stocks Decline Again; Dow Index Slips 1.87

March 09, 1985|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — The stock market closed out its worst week so far in 1985 with another decline in slackened trading Friday.

Except for a few financial issues, stock prices showed no response to a sharp drop in open-market interest rates.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials slipped 1.87 to 1,269.66, extending its loss for the week to 29.70 points. That was the average's biggest weekly decline since it tumbled 31.36 points last Nov. 26 to 30, as the Treasury was unveiling its controversial tax-reform proposal.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange tailed off to 96.39 million shares from 112.10 million Thursday.

Analysts said rising interest rates have been the main force pushing stock prices lower in recent days. On Friday, however, rates turned sharply lower in the bond and short-term money markets.

Brokers also said some traders were shopping for "bargains" in the stock market, with the Dow Jones industrial average having closed Thursday at a six-week low. But their buying didn't stir up much other activity.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported that the civilian unemployment rate declined 0.1% in February to 7.3%. A drop had been widely expected on Wall Street.

Bank Issues Mixed

Some financial issues rose, responding to the rally in the credit markets. In the savings and loan sector, H. F. Ahmanson was up 1 3/8 at 29 5/8, Golden West Financial 2 at 26, Great American First Savings 7/8 at 14 3/8 and Great Western Financial 1 3/8 at 26 3/4.

Commercial bank issues finished mixed.

International Business Machines dropped 1/2 to 129 5/8 in active trading after falling 2 1/2 points Thursday. The company said sales and demand for its Personal Computer "are strong across the entire line."

Among other computer and technology issues, Digital Equipment lost 1 to 104 3/4, Hewlett-Packard 5/8 to 35 3/8, Data General 1 1/2 to 50 3/8 and Computervision 1 to 33 1/2.

SmithKline-Beckman fell 2 3/8 to 58 3/4. The drop was attributed to an article in a Japanese newspaper about a study of ulcer drugs, including Tagamet, which is produced by SmithKline.

In the daily tally on the Big Board, about four stocks fell in price for every three that advanced. The exchange's composite index of all its listed common stocks dropped 0.25 to 103.82.

Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 122.24 million shares.

Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials fell 0.51 to 200.25, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 0.41 at 179.10.

The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market dropped 0.82 to 282.37.

At the American Stock Exchange, the market-value index closed at 225.87, down 1.05.

The Wilshire index of 5,000 equities closed at 1,848.595, down 4.892.

Bond Prices Surge

Large blocks of 10,000 or more shares traded on the NYSE totaled 1,870, compared to 1,978 on Thursday.

Bond prices advanced strongly, with the market shrugging off the government's reports on the decline in unemployment and another big rise in the money supply.

In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term governments rose 15/32 of a point, intermediate maturities rose by between 21/32 of a point and more than a full point and long-term issues rose almost 1 3/4 points.

In corporate trading, industrials and utilities rose a point in moderate trading.

Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations and revenue bonds were each up 3/8 point.

Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell 16 basis points to 8.58%. Six-month bills fell 22 basis points to 8.86%, and one-year bills were off 25 basis points at 8.95%.

Yields on 30-year Treasury bonds slipped to 11.70% from 11.91% late Thursday.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, traded at 8.630%, down from 8.563% late Thursday.

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