Stocks Close Lower in Extremely Light Volume

A late afternoon selloff in the Treasury market sideswiped stocks.
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The traders who showed up to work today -- and yes there were a few -- were looking at mostly red on their screens at session's end in a day marked by horrendously light volume.

For the week, the

Nasdaq Composite Index

and

S&P 500

posted jumps of 4.2% and 0.9% respectively. Blue-chips ended the week on a down note, however, as the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

slipped 0.1%.

As for today's session, a late afternoon selloff in the Treasury market sideswiped stocks.

Stocks, which opened higher on the day, quickly surrendered those gains and fell into the red, although the losses weren't very intense.

Cautionary

talk from

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

was blamed for the early knock off the highs and into negative territory. When the text of the chairman's speech before a

Kansas City Fed

symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., was released, it submerged stocks.

Online brokers got hammered after Lehman Brothers downgraded

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

and

E*Trade

(EGRP)

. Ameritrade was down 1 3/8, or 6.1%, to 21 5/16, while E*Trade was off 1 13/16, or 6.5%, to 25 15/16.

Volume overall was thin as one would expect considering it's a Friday in August.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners beat up on advancers 1,760 to 1,107 on 557.2 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers defeated winners 2,133 to 1,717 on 800.4 million shares.

On the NYSE, 35 issues set new 52-week lows while 34 touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 90 issues set new 52-week highs while new lows totaled 59.

On the Big Board,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

was most active with 10.9 million shares changing hands. It was off 2 7/16 to 47 1/2.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active with 25.6 million shares changing hands. It was off 15/16 to 47 1/16.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup

Earlier...

2:57 p.m.: Stocks Limp Back Toward Session Lows

Like a runner who just twisted his ankle, stocks this afternoon were hobbling, limping along with some modest losses.

1:59 p.m.: Stocks Continue Slow Climb Off Session Lows

Stocks continued to do their slow climb off the bottom this afternoon after being knocked down earlier by jabber out of Jackson Hole, Wyo., from the G-Man.

1:18 p.m.: Midday Musings: Cautionary Tones From Greenspan Dampen None-Too-Crisp Session

12:01 p.m.: Broad Decline Continues as Greenspan Speech Does Little to Move Market

Alapalooza '99 rolled into the

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

in Jackson Hole, Wyo., at 10 a.m. EDT today.

Alan Greenspan

took the main stage and said the

Fed

has to consider what effect asset prices has on the mindset of consumers.

11:04 a.m.: Stocks Turn Modestly Lower

At 10 a.m. EDT, a little man with a big job spoke at a symposium in the middle of America

. Alan Greenspan's

remarks to the

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

in Jackson Hole, Wyo., were focused on how to evaluate the economy and those implications for monetary policy.

9:55 a.m.: Stocks Open Modestly Higher

Green was the word early on for stocks. However, gains in the major market gauges were nothing to leap and cheer about.