A jittery stock market, faced with profit taking and disappointed that the Federal Reserve didn't cut the discount lending rate, recorded broad losses today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14,34 points.
"The stock market is saying that, since this is basically an interest-rate rally, as opposed to one marking the end of a recession, it is beginning to consider the possibility that interest rates have run their course on the down side," said William Le Fevre, vice president for investment strategy at Purcell Graham & Co. Inc.
Market analysts joined traders in their disappointment over not getting a discount-rate cut, which a number of leading economists had predicted would have occurred by today. Fed watchers here, however, maintained their general feeling that such a cut was likely this month.
On the New York Stock Exchange, volume fell to 75.9 million shares from 96.5 million Friday, with the Dow industrials closing the day at 1037.44, a drop of 28 points since its post-Election Day record of 1,065.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 87.99 million shares.
Today, 1,051 stocks declined, while 615 advanced. The New York composite index fell 0.89 point to 80.94, while the average price per share dropped by 36 cents. The large corporate issues that have led the Dow industrials' gain of 288 points in 12 weeks led the market's retreat, as 22 of the 30 stocks that make up that average fell and only 2 gained.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials lost 1.95 points to 156.70, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 1.72 points at 140.44.
Results were similar on the American Stock Exchange where the Amex index fell 1.72 points to 335.94, as volume fell to 7.7 million shares from Friday's total of 8.0 million. Just over 300 issues rose, while 334 declined, and the average price per share fell by six cents.
The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market closed at 226.74, off 0.29 point.