Rising Interest Rates Depress Stock Prices

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Rising interest rates helped send stock prices into retreat Thursday, ending a run of three consecutive advancing sessions.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, up 52.32 points from Monday through Wednesday, slipped back 7.15 to 3,017.67.

Declining issues outnumbered advances by about 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Volume on the Big Board came to an estimated 169.92 million shares as of 4 p.m. EDT, against 166.75 million at the same point Wednesday.

Treasury bond prices fell more than $2.50 for each $1,000 in face value in the credit markets, increasing their yields to the 8.36 percent-8.39 percent range.

The reversal in rates after Wednesday's decline came as government figures showed a drop of 21,000 in initial claims for state unemployment insurance in the week that ended July 20.

The figures suggested stronger-than-expected conditions in the job market, which is closely watched on Wall Street for evidence of the state of the economy. They were supported by a monthly survey of corporate purchasing managers, whose index posted an expected gain.

If signs of strength continue as more data for July come in, analysts say, the Treasury might be faced with a cool reception when it auctions $38 billion in bonds and notes during its quarterly financing next week.

American Express rose 1 to 26 in active trading. The company said it reached an agreement to sell $300 million in convertible preferred stock to Berkshire Hathaway, headed by investor Warren Buffett.

American Express said the proceeds would strengthen its balance sheet.

In addition, analysts noted, the stock appeared to benefit purely from Buffett's reputation as a shrewd evaluator of investments. …