NEW YORK, SEPT. 15 -- Wall Street's concern about the weak dollar reared its head again today, sending stock prices tumbling and snapping a four-day advance.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials dropped 46.46 points to 2566.58, its eighth-largest daily loss. Declines outnumbered advances by about 5-2 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,159 issues losing, only 430 gaining and 417 unchanged.
Volume on the Big Board totaled 136.24 million shares, down from 154.38 million in Monday's session.
The dollar fell against all key currencies today after recovering from a slump late last week.
Foreign exchange brokers said there was a feeling that the dollar's value was too high in relation to the West German mark and Japanese yen, the two most important comparative currencies. They said trading was slow because of little significant news and a holiday in Japan, where markets were closed.
In London, the dollar eased to 143.80 Japanese yen compared with 143.90 yen in Tokyo late Monday. In New York, the dollar fell further to 143.57 yen compared with 144.47 yen late Monday.
Gold prices rose in reaction to the dollar's fall. Republic National Bank quoted gold at $458.75 a troy ounce, compared with $456.50 late Monday.
The dollar's slide, by making imports more expensive, has rekindled fears of inflation -- one of Wall Street's key anxieties because it lessens the value of stocks. Inflation concerns also spilled over into the credit markets, where bond prices fell sharply, forcing interest rates higher.
The Treasury's closely watched 30-year bond slid 1 5/8 point, or $16.75 per $1,000 in face value, while its yield jumped to 9.68 percent from 9.51 percent late Monday.
Corporate and municipal bonds also fell sharply. In corporate trading, industrials were off three-quarters of a point while utilities fell three-eighths of a point in moderate trading, said Salomon Brothers Inc. Tax-exempt municipal bonds, general obligations and dollar bonds fell 1 point in moderate trading.
Investors are concerned that the Federal Reserve -- which raised its discount rate to 6 percent early this month in a bid to bolster the dollar -- could increase the key rate again. The discount rate is the interest the Fed charges on loans to U.S. financial institutions.
Wall Street's negative mood prevailed despite some encouraging economic news, notably a Commerce Department report that retail sales climbed 1.3 percent in August, the biggest increase in six months.
"The economy is not the source of concern here; it's really the dollar and interest rates," said Michael Metz, market strategist for Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
Among actively traded issues on the NYSE, Foster Wheeler fell 1 1/8 to 22 5/8. A group of companies led by New York investor Asher Edelman said it may consider seeking control of the engineering concern, but analysts said there was skepticism about the seriousness of Edelman's bid.
IBM dropped 4 3/8 to 157 5/8, Manufacturers Hanover was down 1/4 to 39 3/4, Exxon declined 1/2 to 46 3/4, AT&T lost 3/4 to 32 1/8, General Electric fell 1 3/4 to 59 3/4 and Gillette eased 7/8 to 43.
Newmont Mining soared 5 5/8 to 101 1/8. An investor group led by investor T. Boone Pickens sweetened to $105 from $95 a share its tender offer for 28 million shares of Newmont.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 157.94 million shares.
The NYSE's composite index fell 2.56 to 177.98.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials tumbled 6.57 to close at 371.55, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 5.34 to 317.74. At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index was down 1.72 to 353.47. The Nasdaq composite index for the over-the-counter market closed at 441.94, down 3.55