Nasdaq Ends Down 91; Dow Gains 29


Friday, June 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mixed Friday, with blue-chip shares rising and technology stocks coming under selling pressure for the second straight day as investors locked in profits following a weeks-long runup. Amazon.com plummeted 19 percent after an influential analyst warned of risks facing the online retailer.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average finished up 28.63 at 10,404.75, according to preliminary calculations. For the week, Wall Street's best-known indicator slipped 44.55.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 10.64 at 1,441.54, while the technology-laden Nasdaq composite index fell 91.19 points, or 2.3 percent, to 3,845.65.

Among the hardest hit of the technology stocks was Amazon.com, which plunged $8.344 to $34.656 after Lehman Brothers fixed-income analyst Ravi Suria released a research note describing ``extremely weak and deteriorating'' credit.

Other technology stocks falling Friday included Yahoo!, off $6.41 at $123.281.

The losses in the technology sector were somewhat offset by gains in the semiconductor shares. Rambus' stock rose $17.50 to $114.625 after the memory chip maker said that it ended its patent infringement lawsuit against Hitachi Ltd. Hitachi agreed to a worldwide licensing agreement on a variety of Rambus products.

Trading was light Friday as investors watched their moves ahead of Federal Reserve's regular meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. While there have been signs that the economy has been slowing in response to the Fed's six interest rate hikes in the past year, traders are hesitant to make investment commitments when the Fed may still move to tighten credit further to keep inflation in check.

``The market hates uncertainty and we have a big uncertainty in front of us,'' said Alfred E. Goldman, director of market analysis at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. in St. Louis. ``When people are confused on Wall Street, they often keep their hands in their pockets.''

Investors also worry that the slowing U.S. economy will eat away at corporate profits.

But some of those fears were eased after markets closed Thursday with the release of better-than-expected earnings from computer chip maker Micron Technology. The report marked the third straight quarter of strong profits following two years of red ink. Micron shares, which fell 4 percent Thursday on fears of disappointing earnings, were up $3.063 Friday at $89.938.

International Home Foods gained $5.25 to $20.625 after it announced it was being bought for $1.6 billion in cash and stock by ConAgra Inc., which owns the Healthy Choice, Butterball, Orville Redenbacher, Hunt's and Swiss Miss brands. International Home Foods owns Chef Boyardee, PAM cooking spray, and Gulden's Mustard.

Also Friday, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. and Bear Stearns Merchant Banking announced the $2.4 billion purchase of Johns Manville Corp., a manufacturer and marketer of building products. Manville's shares were up 87.5 cents to $13.188.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 7-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 844.73 million shares, down from 1.01 billion shares Thursday.

The Russell 2000 index was down 4.60 at 510.41.