Tags: Dow | Drops | Oil | Reaches | Record | High

Dow Drops 85 As Oil Reaches Record High

Wednesday, 24 August 2005 12:00 AM

"In all you're seeing sort of a mixed reaction out there," said Brian Williamson, an equity trader at The Boston Company Asset Management. "The oil data was good because of the distillates, but you're still seeing oil prices higher because of demand. And we're seeing a lot of volatility across the board."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 84.71, or 0.81 percent, to 10,434.87.

Broader stock indicators also lost ground. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 7.98, or 0.65 percent, to 1,209.59 - falling back into negative territory for the year. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 8.34, or 0.39 percent, to 2,128.91.

Volume was light, which is typical for late August, but that only magnified stocks' volatility and possibly exaggerated Wall Street's reaction to oil prices and the economic news.

Bonds traded in a narrow range throughout the day, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note steady falling to 4.17 percent from 4.18 percent late Tuesday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Investors started the session with the Commerce Department's report that durable goods - items designed to last at least three years - fell 4.9 percent in July, a sharp drop from the 1.9 percent climb in June and far steeper than the 1.5 percent drop economists had expected.

However, the home sales report helped home builder stocks rebound from the previous session's losses. Toll Brothers Inc. gained $2.07 to $50, KB Home jumped $1.24 to $72.20 and Lennar Corp. rose $1.17 to $60.10. Yet even the housing report carried a caveat - while sales are up, the average price of a new home fell.

"Although there was some encouragement by new homes sales rising, prices declined. That suggests we are possibly getting a decline in prices, and that's not good for consumer spending," said Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors, noting that many consumers had refinanced their homes in order to continue spending at current levels. "Combined with the pinch from oil prices, this is not good for the market."

While worries about high oil and gasoline prices have already prompted warnings from much of the retail sector, high-end luxury retailers have yet to be affected. Coach Inc. climbed $1.35 to $33.99 after the handbag and leather-goods maker said its first-quarter profits would exceed Wall Street's forecasts.

Poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride Corp. reaffirmed its earnings outlook after rival Sanderson Farms Inc. posted a 29 percent drop in profits on Tuesday. Pilgrim's Pride rose 11 cents to $31.21 while Sanderson Farms gained 63 cents to $36.40 after falling 7.6 percent Tuesday.

Google Inc. added $2.99 to $282.57 after the Internet search company said it would create an instant messaging and voice chat program to rival popular chat programs from Time Warner Inc.'s America Online, Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The United Auto Workers may offer consessions that would help General Motors Corp. in its cost-cutting efforts, according to The Wall Street Journal. GM rose 75 cents to $34.27 on the news.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by about 6 to 5 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 2.01 billion shares, compared to 1.72 billion on Tuesday.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 0.46, or 0.07 percent, to 655.01.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.24 percent. In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 closed down 0.47 percent, France's CAC-40 fell 0.27 percent for the session, Germany's DAX index lost 0.04 percent.

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"In all you're seeing sort of a mixed reaction out there," said Brian Williamson, an equity trader at The Boston Company Asset Management. "The oil data was good because of the distillates, but you're still seeing oil prices higher because of demand. And we're seeing a lot...
Dow,Drops,Oil,Reaches,Record,High
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2005-00-24
Wednesday, 24 August 2005 12:00 AM
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