NEW YORK, SEPT. 21 -- The Dow Jones industrial average sank almost 6 points today after rising oil prices continued to haunt Wall Street and bank stocks skidded on disturbing news from Chase Manhattan.
Most of the selling pressure came in midafternoon, when oil prices rose $2 per barrel at midafternoon and Chase Manhattan startled traders by announcing bigger than expected layoffs and additions to its loan loss reserve. The Dow fell as much as 30 points before rebounding in the final hour.
As the week closed, the Dow lost 51.73 points and found itself 17 percent below its all-time high of mid-July when it twice closed just shy of 3000.
"Investment opportunities abound," said technical trader William LeFevre at Advest, who suggested there were now plenty of bargains and that it was time to snatch them up.
One group of stocks that recently has been particularly hard hit have been the money-center banks, which dropped again after Chase's announcement today. The market perceived that banking troubles from real-estate loans and other problem areas were more severe than had been thought. Moreover, professional short sellers, having had their way with Chase earlier in the week, were said to switch their attentions to other bank targets.
Manufacturers closed down 2 7/8 at 23, Wells Fargo was down 1 3/4 at 51 1/4, Security Pacific lost 1 1/4 to 24 1/4, Bankers Trust shed 1 3/4 to 34 1/4, Citicorp dropped 7/8 to 15 3/4 and J.P. Morgan was down 7/8 to 32.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2512.38, down 5.94, while declines outpaced advances on the Big Board by 917 to 602 on heavy, futures-driven volume of 201 million shares.
Scott Paper closed off 6 7/8 at 34 3/8 after its announcement that third-quarter earnings may not match the year-ago level. Other forest-products companies also suffered. James River fell 1 to 20 7/8 and Boise Cascade dipped 1 to 26 3/4.
The Dow transports Friday slipped 3.33 to 876.67, while the utilities rallied 1.38 to 201.71 despite a 3/4-point loss in the U.S. long Treasury bond as stocks closed.
The S&P 500 closed down only 0.16 at 311.32 and the NYSE Composite fell a mere 0.19 to 171.03, but the Value Line lost 1.34 to 235.69, the Amex Market Value fell 1.17 to 316.01, and the Nasdaq Composite skidded 2.18 to 362.25.