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FINANCIAL MARKETS : Blue Chips Off, Techs Tepid in Windows Debut

August 25, 1995|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — Blue-chip stocks drifted lower Thursday as the hoopla surrounding the launch of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system failed to inspire a rally in technology shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended 4.23 points lower at 4,580.62. In the broader market, declining issues led advances 1,108 to 1,077 in moderate trading of 299 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

The continuing correction in technology stocks, paced by International Business Machines Corp. and Microsoft, left traders jittery in a thin summer market, analysts said.

"People are nervous, like a horse in the middle of fly season," said Ned Collins, head of U.S. equity trading at Daiwa Securities America Inc.

Among Thursday's highlights:

* IBM shed 1 3/4 to 104 7/8.

* Microsoft lost 1 3/4 to 96 1/8. It opened higher on the day of its ballyhooed Windows 95 launch but fell after the Justice Department said its probe of Microsoft is continuing.

* Intel lost 1 11/16 to 61 1/16 and Symantec, which has several new utility software releases for use with Windows 95, slipped 1/8 to 30 1/2. Sun Microsystems fell 3/4 to 59 3/4.

* Some initial public offerings made a splash. Plasma & Materials jumped 4 to 18 and Computron Software climbed nearly 3 1/4 to 20 3/4.

The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index shed 7.26 points to 1,020.93.

Analysts said the bond market reacted to data that showed the economy may be slowing.

The yield of the Treasury's main 30-year bond fell to 6.81%, the lowest since July 18. On Wednesday, the bond's yield closed at 6.91%.

The Commerce Department reported that orders for expensive manufactured goods tumbled 1.7% in July--far worse than the performance expected by Wall Street and much worse than in June when they retreated 0.3%.

In another report, the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims rose last week by 10,000 to 348,000 in the week ended Aug. 19.

The dollar tumbled against major European currencies as speculation that the Federal Reserve Board might cut rates sooner than expected erased gains the dollar made in the wake of German interest rate cuts.

The dollar fell to 1.4740 German marks, down from 1.4830 marks late Wednesday. The dollar also fell to 96.53 Japanese yen from 96.60 late Wednesday.

In overseas trading, Tokyo's Nikkei average ended 190.01 points, or 1.07%, higher at 17,921.99. Mexico's Bolsa index of 37 shares finished up 3.80 points, or 0.16%, at 2,447.04.

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