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Dow Wanders to 6.99 Gain; Soybeans Leap : Market Overview

July 20, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Stocks finished mixed as blue-chips inched higher but smaller stocks were hurt again by weakness in the technology sector.

* Commodity prices surged, led by soybeans in the flood-ravaged Midwest and oil in New York.

Stocks

The market's trend from Friday carried into Monday as technology stocks fell further and investors shifted into industrial, utility and defense stocks.

The Dow industrials, which had slumped 22.64 points Friday, gained 6.99 points to 3,535.28.

But losers outnumbered winners by about 5 to 4 on the New York Stock Exchange in light trading of 216 million shares.

Technology stocks weakened again as investors continued to fear that slowing sales--and severe price competition--in the personal computer business will spill into other tech areas.

The NASDAQ composite index, heavy with tech issues, lost 3.90 points to 695.83 after sliding 8.96 on Friday.

Among Monday's highlights:

* In the tech arena, IBM slid 2 to 43 5/8, its lowest price in 18 years. Chicago Corp. analyst Rick Martin predicted the stock could drop as low as $36 within 12 months as the troubled company shrinks further.

Elsewhere, Apple dropped 1 7/8 to 25 5/8, continuing its steep slide after reporting a huge quarterly loss last week.

Microsoft lost 2 3/8 to 78 3/4. The Federal Trade Commission will consider this week whether the PC software giant competes unfairly.

Among other techs, Adobe Systems lost 2 1/8 to 52, Cabletron Systems fell 1 3/8 to 97 7/8, Digital Equipment dropped 1 5/8 to 37 5/8, Computer Associates sank 1 3/8 to 27 1/8 and Newbridge Networks gave up 2 to 45 3/4.

* On the plus side, energy stocks jumped as oil's price rose. Chevron rose 1 3/4 to 83 7/8, Louisiana Land surged 3 3/8 to 45 1/2, Exxon rose 1 1/4 to 64 3/4 and Unocal rose 1/2 to 28 1/2.

* Industrial issues were also strong. Caterpillar surged 1 5/8 to 79 5/8, Burlington Northern rose 1 1/4 to 54 1/8, PPG Industries gained 1 3/8 to 68 5/8, Inland Steel rose 1 to 29 1/2 and W.R. Grace was up 3/4 to 41.

* Defense stocks saw heavy buying after stronger than expected quarterly earnings at McDonnell Douglas and Rockwell. M-D surged 3 1/4 to 75 1/4, Rockwell rose 1 1/4 to 32 1/4, Lockheed added 1 1/4 to 68 1/8 and Logicon jumped 1 to 29.

Overseas, shares closed at a new 1993 high in Frankfurt as foreign buyers jumped back into the market. The 30-share DAX index leaped 22.83 points to 1,836.29.

In London, the FTSE-100 index added 9.9 points to 2,842.9.

Other Markets

Soybean futures surged to four-year highs following another weekend of heavy rain in the Midwest and a forecast for more rain this week.

Bean gains, and a jump in grain and pork prices, sent the Commodity Research Bureau index of key commodities up 2.83 points to 218.01, the highest since late 1991.

On the Chicago Board, soybeans for November closed at $7.36 a bushel Monday, up 8.5 cents.

Bean prices have risen about 22% since mid-June as continual rain and flooding have destroyed crops in key producing states.

Meanwhile, crude oil futures rebounded from a three-year low after OPEC announced it will hold an emergency meeting next week to try to halt the recent price slide.

Light, sweet crude for August jumped 49 cents to $17.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after recovering from an opening plunge to $16.75--the lowest price for near-term deliveries since July 10, 1990.

With Monday's whipsaw action, oil "has all the earmarks of a market that's reversed and put in its final lows," said Tom Bentz, trader at Quantum Financial Services.

Elsewhere, August gold futures slipped 50 cents to $392.40 an ounce on New York's Comex; silver eased 0.8 cent to $5.05.

In the bond market, Treasury securities were little changed as traders marked time ahead of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony on monetary policy before Congress today.

The yield on the Treasury's main 30-year bond held at 6.54%, unchanged from Friday's close.

In foreign exchange trading, the dollar was mixed. In New York, it fetched 108.46 Japanese yen, up from Friday's 107.55, and 1.706 German marks, down from 1.716.

Market Roundup, D8

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