NEW YORK, JUNE 14 -- The Dow Jones industrial average drifted to a 1-point loss today as investors took to the sidelines in anticipation of Friday's "triple witching" expirations of stock options and futures instruments.
The market also suffered one of its frequent bouts of nervousness about corporate earnings, this time prompted by reports concerning Digital Equipment and United Telecommunications.
United Telecom slid more than 3 1/4 points at 40 7/8 after profit estimates were lowered by Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette and PaineWebber.
A number of traders said the market appeared to be overreacting to what appeared to be relatively minor reevaluations.
Other telecommunications stocks slumped in sympathy, with 15 of 18 major telecommunications issues posting at least fractional losses at the close.
The American depositary receipts for Racal Telecom PLC fell 2 1/4 to 61 1/4, and MCI Communications lost 2 to 41 5/8.
Digital, which said its profit would fall short of earlier expectations, shed 1 3/4 to 86 3/8.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2928.22, down 1.48, while declines outpaced advances on the Big Board by almost 2 to 1 on moderate volume of 135 million shares.
Dow component stocks drifted to a close with little feature. The only prominent gainer was 3M, which spurted to a full-point gain initially and managed to close up 1 3/8 at 87 1/8. Other issues languished with fractional moves.
Among defense stocks, McDonnell Douglas lost 3 1/8 to 39 3/8.
The Dow transports lost 9.12 to 1195.45, while the utilities gave up 0.88 to 213.09.
Losses were across the board for other stock indexes, in contrast to Wednesday, when secondary measures rose while blue-chip averages fell.
The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 2.00 at 362.90, the NYSE Composite down 1.02 at 197.98, the Value Line down 0.87 at 289.79, the Amex Market Value down 0.74 at 364.30 and the Nasdaq Composite down 1.76 at 467.10.