NEW YORK, JULY 6 -- Stock prices posted modest losses today, succumbing to profit taking after getting a morning boost from firm bond prices and a strong dollar.
Trading was quiet as some participants extended the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 7.17 to 2429.53.
Losing issues outnumbered gainers about 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Broad-market indexes eased. The New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 0.28 to 171.55. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index slid 0.71 to 304.92. The price of an average share lost 7 cents.
Big Board volume was 186,494,710 shares, compared with 179,605,180 on Thursday.
Traders said that in the morning stocks got support from a rising dollar and firmer bond prices while contending with resistance from sellers. When bonds and the dollar gave up some ground in the afternoon, profit takers took hold. The Dow slipped into the minus column and the broad market turned narrowly lower.
The Dow was buoyed in the morning and aided in the afternoon by particular strength in one of its components -- Texaco. Texaco advanced amid renewed talk of a settlement between it and Pennzoil, its adversary in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit over the acquisition by Texaco of Getty Oil.
Rising crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange kept the rest of the oil patch firm. Traditional market leader IBM posted a modest gain for most of the session.
On the Big Board, Southland was the most active NYSE-listed issue, climbing 7 1/4 to 75 3/4 on news that its controlling shareholders plan to take the convenience store chain private in a two-step deal valued at $5.1 billion.
Texaco followed, jumping 3 1/2 to 44 3/4. Pennzoil rose 2 3/4 to 79 1/4. Among other oil issues, Phillips Petroleum rose 5/8 to 17 1/2, Chevron edged up 1/8 to 62 1/2, Exxon added 1/2 to 93 3/8, Mobil rose 1/8 to 51 5/8, Occidental Petroleum added 1/4 to 37 7/8 and Schlumberger rose 3/4 to 47 1/4.
Among technology issues, IBM rose 7/8 to 165 1/8 but Digital Equipment fell 1 5/8 to 165 and Cray Research dropped 1 1/4 to 101.
Among other blue chips, AT&T eased 1/4 to 28 7/8, General Motors fell 1 3/8 to 80, USX rose 1/8 to 32 1/8, Eastman Kodak fell 1 to 85 1/4 and Merck dropped 2 5/8 to 174 3/4.
Sterling Drug rose 5 1/4 to 62 3/4 amid reports that Ronald Perelman has been accumulating shares in the company.
Gerber Products rose 4 to 52 1/2. The company said its chief executive officer died Sunday of an apparent heart attack and named a former chairman and chief executive, Carl Smith, as acting chief executive.
A.H. Robins fell 1 1/8 to 27 1/2. The company accepted Rorer Group Inc.'s plan to merge the two companies. Rorer lost 7/8 to 45 1/8.
Prices were mixed in active trading on the American Stock Exchange but fell in over-the-counter trading.
B.A.T. Industries was the most active Amex issue, rising 1/2 to 10 3/8. Kidde warrants followed, climbing 4 1/8 to 14. Texas Air was third, easing 3/4 to 35 3/8.
The American Stock Exchange index rose 2.21 to 341.95.
Trading over-the-counter, Sterling Inc. jumped 13 5/8 to 40 3/8 on news that the company has agreed to be bought by London-based Ratners Group for $41 a share.
The National Association of Securities Dealers index of over-the-counter stocks slipped 0.78 to 425.19