Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Fall in Profit-Taking Session

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stocks Fall in Profit-Taking Session

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks fell Wednesday as wary investors collected profits from Wall Street's first two-day advance since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Analysts said the retreat was to be expected, given the week's earlier gains and the troubled economy.

"Obviously we've had some slippage, but if we compare where we are today to where we were last week ... this isn't a significant selloff," said Michael Strauss, managing director at Commonfund. "The market is trying to bottom. The economy continues to be the battleground and we're getting some weakness associated with the terrorist attacks."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 92.58 to 8,567.39, giving back nearly a quarter of its 424-point advance of Monday and Tuesday.

The Nasdaq Composite index slid 37.60 to 1,464.04, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 5.23 at 1,007.04.

Many on Wall Street are hesitant to make any big commitments until they have a better idea of the form and timing of U.S. retaliation for the assaults on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

"You don't know what might happen Saturday, if that might be when retaliation or something happens, and how that will affect the market," said Chris Wolfe, equity market strategist for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. "So you don't want to take many chances."

Those concerns, as well as profit-taking from Monday's big rally that sent the Dow up 368 points, appeared to drive much of Wednesday's trading.

Among tech stocks, IBM dropped $3.15 to $91.30 and Sun Microsystems fell 25 cents to $8.44 -- a loss of about 3 percent for each -- after Goldman Sachs cut their earnings estimates on fears companies will have less to spend on both firms' products as they recover from the assaults.

Reaction to the economic fallout wasn't all negative.

Delta Airlines gained 34 cents to $24.86 on news of 13,000 job cuts, about 15 percent of its work force, because of declining air travel following the terrorist attacks.

The other light buying was concentrated in sectors considered less risky in times of uncertainty, including pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. …

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