Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stock Prices Fall Sharply

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stock Prices Fall Sharply

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks fell sharply late Monday, weakening on investor fear about the implications of the collapse of Britain's oldest investment bank, Barings PLC.

Turmoil in overseas markets also contributed to the declines, with stocks in Asia tumbling in response to the Barings crisis and Mexican issues falling on concerns about Mexico's economic crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which surged over the 4,000 threshold last week for the first time, lost 23.17 points to 3,988.57.

Declining issues outnumbered advances by about 5 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 285.80 million shares as of 4 p.m., down from 302.86 million in the previous session.

The NYSE's composite index lost 2.18 to 262.68. The Standard Poor's 500-stock index lost 4.30 to 483.81. The Nasdaq composite index tumbled 6.58 to 784.50, while at the American Stock Exchange, the market value index lost 2.23 to 448.44.

Stocks began the session lower, recovered and held steady until late in the day as investors tried to assess the impact of the Barings collapse.

The late decline came amid rumors the firm's losses were significantly larger than reported and may have ramifications for some U.S. financial institutions, said Michael Metz, investment strategist at Oppenheimer Co.

"There is growing concern about the Barings affair," Metz said.

Still, he said he thought traders were using the rumors as an excuse to sell stocks that ran up in value during last week's record-setting run.

On Thursday, the Dow average surpassed the 4,000 mark for the first time and set a second record high Friday.

In addition, in the absence of fresh news on the U.S. economy activity was dominated by speculative traders, analysts said. Many investors sat out the session ahead of this week's scheduled release of some major economic reports, said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer, First Albany Corp. …

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