NEW YORK, SEPT. 16 -- Stock prices tumbled for the second straight session today, yielding to a late wave of selling amid continuing concern about interest rates.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials fell 36.39 to 2530.19, bringing its loss over the last two days to 82.85 points.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 195.74 million shares, up from 136.24 million Tuesday.
Analysts said traders remained uneasy about prospects for interest rates. Rates were mixed to slightly higher in the credit markets today.
The Treasury's closely watched 30-year bond was up one-eighth point, or about $1.25 for every $1,000 in face value. Its yield, which moves inversely to its price, eased to 9.67 percent from 9.68 percent late Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the dollar closed fractionally higher as cash gold slipped in New York to $458.25 an ounce, from Tuesday's close of $458.75.
Against the West German mark, the dollar ended at 1.8135, up from Tuesday's 1.8110. Earlier in Frankfurt, the dollar fell to 1.8123 from 1.8176. The dollar rose to 143.75 yen, up from 143.60. In Tokyo, where markets reopened after a Tuesday holiday, the dollar slipped to 143.80, from 143.90 Monday.
The stock market opened lower as weakness in bond futures spilled into stock index futures, placing those contracts at a sharp discount to the cash market. The discount made it profitable for traders to buy the futures and sell the cash stocks.
Traders said by midday a firm dollar and a rebound in the bond market sent blue-chip issues into the plus column. But the market's rally attempt failed when bonds returned to lower levels.
This Friday marks a quarterly "triple witching hour" -- when a group of stock options, index options and index futures reach the point of expiration, and program traders must settle up their positions.
Experimental procedures have been adopted to try to smooth out the volatility that has occurred on such occasions in the past.
However, analysts said some investors apparently have opted to step out of the way of this expiration.
The decline of the past two days has wiped out the gains recorded in a rally late last week, and extended the stock market's pullback that began three weeks ago.
Since the Dow Jones industrial average hit a record closing high of 2722.42 on Aug. 25, it has fallen 192.23 points, or a little more than 7 percent.
A big chunk of today's volume was concentrated in a single issue, Detroit Edison, which slipped 1/4 to 15 1/4 on turnover of more than 33 million shares.
That activity was attributed largely to short-term trading strategies based on the company's impending quarterly dividend.
Among actively traded blue-chip industrials, International Business Machines fell 7/8 to 156 5/8; Eastman Kodak 3/8 to 99; General Electric 3/4 to 59; American Telephone & Telegraph 1/2 to 31 5/8 and American Express 1 1/4 to 36.
Carter Hawley Hale dropped 3/4 to 13 1/2, trading at new 52-week lows. The company increased its estimate of the pretax loss it expects to report from continuing operations for the quarter ended Aug. 1.
Mattel was one of the few gainers on the active list, adding 5/8 to 15 1/4 on takeover rumors and speculation.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of about 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. The exchange's composite index lost 1.47 to 176.51.
Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trading in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 222.69 million shares.
Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials fell 3.61 to 367.94, and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 2.88 at 314.86.
The Nasdaq composite index for the over-the-counter market dropped 1.09 to 440.85.
At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index closed at 352.77, down 0.70.