Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Close Miexed as Investors Study Souring News, Clinton Plan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Close Miexed as Investors Study Souring News, Clinton Plan

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market ended narrowly mixed Tuesday as investors tried to sort out the implications of President Clinton's economic plan and of a research report showing consumer confidence in decline.

Health care and biotechnology stocks, which have plunged in recent sessions, recovered slightly.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials fell 19.72 points to 3,323.27.

Advancing issues outnumbered declines by about 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 321.04 million shares as of 4 p.m., up from 311.53 million in the previous session.

Trading was erratic, with factors pulling the market both up and down, analysts said.

On one end, investors responded to hopes for reduction of the federal deficit and on the other, to uncertainties about the president's economic program, said Alfred Goldman, director of technical market analysis with A.G. Edwards Sons, Inc. in St. Louis.

"Investors are finally digging into the numbers" in the economic plan, said William Dodge, chief investment strategist with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. "There's a great deal of nervousness about how much of the plan will be passed by Congress and what it will mean."

Goldman said the market was in a "watch-and-see attitude."

The market has been upset by Clinton's proposed higher taxes, which many investors feel could put a damper on consumer spending and thus the economic recovery. Higher taxes also could cut into corporate profits.

A worse-than-expected consumer confidence report did little to help the market Tuesday. The Conference Board said consumer confidence in the economy tumbled in February. The research group's index fell more than eight points.

The stock market did not follow the lead of the bond market, which soared about 1 points in response to the report, pushing down yields to the lowest level since the government began issuing 30-year securities in 1977. …

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