Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Uncertainty Leaves Market Mix

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Uncertainty Leaves Market Mix

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Uncertainty over the fate of President Clinton's budget package and higher interest rates dampened enthusiasm for stocks on Tuesday and the market ended mixed.

Small stocks, however, performed well, led by strength in technology shares. The Nasdaq index reached a record high.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.22 points to 3,552.05.

Advancing issues narrowly outnumbered declines on the New York Stock Exchange.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 230.03 million shares, down from 252.91 million in the previous session.

Prices traded in a narrow range for most of the day as investors assumed a cautious stance ahead of Congressional consideration of the budget package, expected this week.

Prominent Democratic lawmakers have said they expect the measures to pass, but votes are apparently close.

"We're in a holding pattern," said Bill Allyn, a managing director at Jefferies Co. "It looks like the package will pass but it's so close that prudence dictates we should hold back."

If the budget is not approved, bond prices could tumble, pushing interest rates higher and perhaps stocks lower, analysts said.

"It will be a tremendous shock to the system," said James Solloway, director of research at Argus Research Corp.

Bond investors want deficit reduction, which would mean the government wouldn't have to issue as many bonds to pay its debts.

Stock investors were also cautious ahead of Friday's data on unemployment, which could provide insight into the economy's strength, said Eugene Peroni, director of technical research at Janney Montgomery Scott.

The only economic data Wednesday came from the Federal Reserve. In its latest survey of regional economic conditions, the central bank said the nation's economy continues to expand "slowly to moderately. …

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