Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Market Barometers Close Mixed on Suggestions of Tame Inflation

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Market Barometers Close Mixed on Suggestions of Tame Inflation

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were mixed Friday, with blue-chip stocks following bonds lower as traders used the latest suggestions of tame inflation as an opportunity to secure some profits before Tuesday's elections.

The Dow Jones industrial average surrendered an opening 28-point gain, falling 7.45 to close at 6,021.93, trimming its gain on the week to 14.91 points.

Smaller, more speculative stocks outperformed blue-chip and other large-company issues, which slipped as interest rates rose in bond- market trading. Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a slender margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 463.78 million shares as of 4 p.m., vs. 487.82 million in the previous session. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 1.51 to 703.76, and the NYSE's composite index fell 0.82 to 373.68. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.26 to 1,221.77, and the American Stock Exchange's market value index rose 3.86 to 572.58. Stocks started the day higher with the bond market, where long- term interest rates briefly dipped toward a new seven-month low. Bond yields fell after an anxiously awaited employment report showed that the average hourly wage -- a key force behind inflation -- did not increase in October. The Labor Department report also showed that businesses added 210,000 workers to their payrolls in October, helping to keep the unemployment rate steady at 5.2 percent. A private research group, meanwhile, reported that its index of leading economic indicators edged up a tiny 0.1 percent in September, the smallest of eight consecutive advances. Investors were heartened by the reports, which reinforced a belief that recent signs of strong consumer demand and rising production costs won't necessarily translate into big price increases. If the Federal Reserve's policy-makers agree with that assessment, they may continue to hold off on trying to contain inflation with an increase in the central bank's key interest rates. …

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