Stock Prices Fall on Economic Factors

THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 14, 1996 | Go to article overview

Stock Prices Fall on Economic Factors


NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks slipped Thursday, even as interest rates backed away from 13-month highs, as inflation worries continued to prevail and a negative outlook in the computer industry dragged down that sector.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 10.34 to 5,657.95, rebounding from a midday loss of 28 points as interest rates began to ease.

The Dow, a barometer of 30 big U.S. companies, has fallen every day this week, but less than 40 points overall, demonstrating investor confusion from mixed signals on inflation and interest rates.

"It's reflective of the debate on whether the economy is too hot or too cold, and the realization that maybe it's neither too hot or too cold," said William Dodge, portfolio manager at Marvin & Palmer Associates Inc. of Wilmington, Del.

Bonds, which had slid the past four sessions in the aftermath of Friday's strong employment report, drew some early strength from a report showing that retail sales rose 0.8 percent to $205.5 billion in May, which was slightly below analyst projections.

But the bond market worsened by midday, sending interest rates higher and stocks lower, amid worries about an upward revision in the April sales tally and concerns that May's advance was robust regardless of projections.

Retail sales are increasing "at an annual rate close to 10 percent," said Tracy Herrick, chief investment strategist, Jefferies & Co. in San Francisco. "Analysts may have expected more, but the report still reflects a healthy growth of the economy. It's in excess of output and would tend to reduce inventories and be positive for growth and negative for bonds."

Ultimately, however, bond prices and yields grew too attractive, spurring a late rally that brought most stock measures close to the day's starting point. …

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