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Stocks Retreat in Quiet Session; Dow Dips 3.52

March 03, 1987|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — The stock market posted some small losses Monday at the close of a quiet, erratic session.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, up more than 11 in the early going and down 9 at mid-morning, finished with a 3.52-point drop at 2,220.47.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange came to 156.68 million shares, against 142.80 million on Friday.

The National Assn. of Purchasing Management said its monthly survey of purchasing executives found that growth in the industrial economy slowed somewhat in February from its upward surge the month before.

Analysts also noted that business is still adjusting to a new tax system, and hopes persist for improved news on business conditions and corporate profits later in 1987.

But brokers said some traders were cashing in gains on the belief that the market was due for a breather after its sharp rise in the first two months of the year.

American Express climbed 2 3/4 to 76 3/4 in active trading. The company confirmed reports that it was considering several options for its Shearson Lehman brokerage subsidiary, including the possibility of selling part ownership of it to the public.

Elsewhere among blue chips, General Electric rose 1 1/8 to 103 3/4, IBM dropped 1 to 138 1/2, Eastman Kodak fell 1 3/4 to 75 and American Telephone & Telegraph was unchanged at 22 1/2.

Viacom International jumped 2 1/2 to 50 3/8. The company said two bidders to acquire it had sweetened their offers.

Energy issues were mostly lower as the price of oil continued to sag. Amoco lost 1 1/8 to 70 3/4, Atlantic Richfield fell 1 1/8 to 65 7/8, Chevron dipped 5/8 to 48 7/8 and Occidental Petroleum eased 7/8 to 31. An exception was Exxon, which edged up to 78 5/8.

Irvine-based Fluor Corp. tumbled 1 3/8 to 14, recording one of the day's biggest percentage declines. The company suspended its dividend Friday, and on Monday Moody's Investors Service lowered its long-term debt rating.

Declining issues slightly outnumbered advances in the overall tally on the NYSE, with 765 up, 805 down and 384 unchanged.

In the bond market, the Treasury's closely watched 30-year issue rose about point, or $2.50 per $1,000 face value. That trimmed its yield to 7.45% from 7.46% late Friday.

Bond investors are holding back in anticipation of several key statistics to be released by the federal government this week, most notably leading economic indicators, unemployment, factory orders and sales of single-family homes.

In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term government issues were unchanged, intermediate maturities rose 1/32 to 3/32 point and 20-year issues gained point, according to Salomon Bros. The movement of a point is equivalent to a change of $10 in the price of a $1,000 bond. Among tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations and revenue bonds were unchanged in light trading.

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