Dow Drops Back below 1,700

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - The stock market retreated Monday, yielding to sellers who pushed the Dow Jones industrial average back below the 1,700 level it surmounted for the first time last week.

The drop, which came despite another day of extraordinary strength in the bond market, was attributed to profit-taking rather than any significant change in the news background.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials dropped 12.39 to 1,696.67.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange slowed to 142.67 million shares from 191.66 million on Friday.

Analysts said many traders apparently concluded that the upsurge in stock prices over the past few weeks had crested, at least for the moment. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 138 points in February alone.

Otherwise, brokers said, there were no apparent developments in the economic news to disturb the optimism that has pervaded Wall Street lately.

Interest rates continued to decline in the credit markets. Prices of long-term government bonds, which move in the opposite direction from interest rates, rose by $15 to $20 for every $1,000 in face value.

A weekend report by a trade group of purchasing executives said that the economy turned in a good showing in February. However, an index calculated by the National Association of Purchasing Management declined somewhat from its January reading.

White Consolidated Industries jumped 10 1/4 to 48 3/4. A Swedish company, AB Electrolux, made a $45-a-share takeover offer for White Consolidated. …