Stocks Under Heavy Pressure as Morning Wears On

Author:
Publish date:

Uncertainty over the fate of

Bill Clinton's

presidency continued to weigh on the stock market at midmorning.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 213 to 7652. In the broader market, the

S&P 500

was down 25 to 981, while the tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 44 to 1581. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was down 8 to 345.

Meanwhile, the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was up 21/32 to 104 4/32, yielding 5.23%.

Hope for equities seeing an upside today is about nil.

"It's definitely going to be a down day," said Peter Coolidge, managing director of equity trading at

Brean Murray Foster Securities

. The only question is how much it's going to be down, he said, adding that the most critical point in today's session will come in the last hour of trading.

Eyes around the country have fallen on Capitol Hill, where independent counsel

Kenneth Starr's

report on the Clinton and

Monica Lewinsky

debacle was delivered yesterday. The report is expected to contain evidence of potentially impeachable offenses by the president. Uncertainty over what is contained in the report is fueling skittishness in an already jumpy market.

"The sooner the report gets released the better," Coolidge said.

Meanwhile, Rep.

Henry Hyde

(R-Ill.), chairman of the

House Judiciary Committee

, this morning said the report will be posted on the Internet. Reports have the posting coming as soon as this afternoon.

Not only has the Clinton situation been a drag on stocks today, the market also has other issues to contend with, including worries about U.S. corporations' profits going forward and continued global financial and political uncertainty.

3Com

(COMS)

has been a particular standout against the market's broad-based carnage. The stock lately was up 2 1/8, or 8.4%, to 27 1/2.

TheStreet.com

columnist

Herb Greenberg

points out in today's

Herb on TheStreet that

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

is reliably thought to have been sniffing around 3Com for some kind of deal. Intel was down 1 5/8 to 79 5/8.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, 2,334 decliners were leading 430 advancers on 226 million shares.

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 2,692 to 622 on 220 million shares.

On the NYSE, 285 issues were at new 52-week lows while 5 were at new highs. On the Nasdaq, 292 issues were at new lows while new highs totaled 2.