Most Stocks Close Modestly Lower in Lackluster Trading

The Dow managed to close in the black, but only barely.
Author:
Publish date:

Monday, bloody Monday. The market shaved with the wife's razor in an airplane bathroom. There's a lot of red and it doesn't look good, but at least the cuts weren't deep. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

took the biggest nick, giving back most of Friday's record day. Somehow, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

escaped with a clean shave.

The

30-year T-bill

fell. It finished off 8/32 with a yield of 6.06.

The dollar is at a three-year low against the yen, which is experiencing a level of strength last seen when

Hootie and the Blowfish

were popular. The move comes as investors return to the Japanese economy, hoping for a comeback. Hootie, also hoping for a comeback, was last seen in a line outside

VH-1's

Behind the Music

auditions.

"You got railed!" Hedgie

Doug Kass

from

Seabreeze Partners

told

Barron's

that

America Online

(AOL)

may see its share price cut in half if rivals

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

and

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

offer cheaper Internet access.

Motorola

(MOT)

had wings today -- albeit broken ones. The stock was off 8 1/8, or 8%, to 90 1/2 on a report in

The Wall Street Journal

that the company is courting

General Instruments

(GIC)

.

The

Palm Pilot

will be flying solo.

3Com

(COMS)

announced it is going to spin off its line of popular personal digital assistants in an IPO. How affectionate will the market be for the maker of PDAs? No one seems grossed out. 3Com was up 1 5/8, or 6%, to 28 7/8.

Last Friday,

HealthSouth

(HRC) - Get Report

was rushed to the ER and cut by a bunch of analysts. Today the stock appeared to have stabilized, up 1/16 to 5 3/4, trading in the heaviest volume -- 25 million shares -- on the Big Board.

Across the pond, in France,

Total Fina SA

merged with

Elf Aquitane

in a deal valued at $54 billion, creating the fourth-largest publicly traded oil company.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,728 to 1,209 on 655 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were beating winners 2,200 to 1,665 on 976 million shares.

On the NYSE, 157 issues had set new 52-week lows while 70 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 61 issues had set new 52-week lows while new highs totaled 119.

On the Nasdaq,

Global Telesystems Group

(GTSG)

was most active, with 38 million shares changing hands. It was down 5 7/16 to 21 1/4.

Earlier...

3:05 p.m.: Stocks Remain Stuck Just Below Break-Even

Everybody hurts sometimes. Nightmares flickered across the market's eyelids today. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

,

Nasdaq Composite

and the

Russell 2000

were fitful, cranky and in the red.

2:10 p.m.: Dow Struggles Near Unchanged

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

appeared to wake up from a fitful rest in the red, struggling toward positive territory. Although the

Nasdaq Composite

, the

Russell 2000

and the

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index were having nightmares, the Dow looked rested but sleepy in light volume.

1:11 p.m.: Midday Musings: Another Day, Another Anemic Session

11:57 a.m.: Stocks Modestly Lower as Treasuries, Dollar Take Hits

The market wes pitching an oh-fer heading into the afternoon: stocks, bonds and the dollar were all suffering this morning, although it appeared equities are getting the least of the damage.

10:59 a.m.: Stocks Cling to Modest Losses

The major U.S. proxies were all within a few points of unchanged in a tentative morning. However, airline carriers and paper companies were rallying while most other sectors floundered.

9:53 a.m.: Stocks Open Modestly Lower

With Treasuries lower and the dollar weakening against the yen, stocks were seeing a bit of a pullback from their moves up late last week.