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Stock Prices Edge Lower in Wave of Pre-Holiday Selling

July 02, 1988|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The stock market pulled back Friday in a flurry of pre-holiday selling.

The Dow Jones index of 30 industrials dropped 10.13 to 2,131.58, closing out the week with a net loss of 11.38 points.

Declining issues outnumbered advances by about 4 to 3 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks, with 617 up, 848 down and 473 unchanged.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 238.33 million shares, against 227.41 million in the previous session. Nationwide, consolidated volume in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 308.92 million shares.

Close to half of the day's activity came in a few utility issues, which were involved in short-term trading strategies based on their quarterly dividend payments.

Analysts said worries about inflation had been diminished in recent days by rainfall in the drought-plagued Farm Belt and declines in oil prices to their lowest level of the year.

The contract for August delivery of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, fell 22 cents a barrel to $14.94 on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday, hitting its lowest levels since 1986.

The easing of inflationary expectations has sparked a rally of late in the bond market, pushing yields on long-term Treasury bonds below 9%.

Engery Stocks Lower

However, brokers said traders appeared cautious about making large commitments on the eve of the long July 4 weekend. The markets will be closed on Monday for the holiday.

Energy stocks were broadly lower for the second straight session. Exxon lost 3/4 to 44 5/8; Amoco fell 3/8 to 72 3/8; Chevron fell 1/8 to 45, and Atlantic Richfield fell 1/8 to 80 3/8.

Losers among the blue chip industrials included Ford Motor, down 1/2 at 52 3/4; International Business Machines, down 3/4 at 126 5/8; DuPont, down 5/8 at 92; Alcoa, down 5/8 at 52 5/8, and American Telephone & Telegraph, down at 26 1/2.

Cooper Tire jumped 3 3/8 to 41. The company said it knew of no reason for the activity.

National Semiconductor dropped 3/8 to 12 5/8 in active trading. The stock fell 1 3/8 Thursday on disappointment over the size of the quarterly earnings gain posted by the company.

On Friday, National said it would buy back 4.1 million of its common shares and 4.1 warrants to buy its stock from Schlumberger Ltd.

The Wilshire index of 5,000 equities closed at 2,717.923, down 11.722 or 0.43% from the preceding trading day.

The NYSE's composite index of all its listed common stocks dropped 0.79 to 153.68.

Standard & Poor's industrial index fell 1.98 to 313.75, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 1.72 at 271.78.

The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market edged up 0.03 to 394.69. At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index closed at 309.00, down 0.25.

In Tokyo, stock prices fell Friday on profit taking as investors were unwilling to hold stock for very long periods in the atmosphere of volatile currency markets. The Nikkei index sank 265.87 points, or 0.96%, to close at 27,503.53.

In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100-share index closed slightly higher, up 0.6%, to 1,858.2.

Credit story, Page 10

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