Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Caution toward Deficit Bill, Employment Limits Traders

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Caution toward Deficit Bill, Employment Limits Traders

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Caution ahead of Congressional votes on the deficit-cutting bill and release of the monthly employment report kept stocks trading in a narrow range for much of Thursday's session and the market ended mostly lower.

The most conspicuous losers were mining issues, which got hammered as gold prices plunged.

Late buying tied to the futures market allowed the Dow Jones industrial average to pare its losses in the final hour. The Dow, which was down about 15 points in late action, finished off just 3.08 at 3,548.97.

Declining issues outnumbered advances by about 7 to 6 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 898 up, 1,050 down and 636 unchanged.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 249.66 million shares as of 4 p.m., up from 230.03 million in the previous session.

Despite the generally hestitant mood in the financial markets, the Nasdaq composite crept to another closing high. It rose 1.71 to 715.50, exceeding the record reached on Wednesday.

Among other major market indicators, the Standard Poors index of 500 stocks fell 0.41 to 448.13.

The NYSE's composite index fell 0.39 to 248.54.

On the American Stock Exchange, the market value index fell 0.89 to 435.53.

Financial markets focused on Washington where the House was expected to vote on President Clinton's deficit-reduction package. The Senate vote was slated for today.

Richard Hoffman, chief investment strategist at Cowen Co., said the markets anticipate passage of the bill and are waiting to assess the potential consequences.

"The real question is what will it really do? So far, the biggest negative as far as the market is concerned is that the budget reduction measures are going to be retroactive," he said.

Stock investors paid little attention to bond market gains that came in response to tumbling gold prices. …

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