NEW YORK, Jan. 8 -- The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13 points today, its fifth straight loss, after bonds continued to decline on Middle East jitters.
While the bond market rallied sharply at midday on news that the Federal Reserve again ratcheted down short-term interest rates, bonds were subsequently knocked down by resurgent concerns about a possible Persian Gulf war and anticipated poor demand at today's Resolution Funding Corp. auction of $6.9 billion in 30- and 40-year S&L-rescue bonds. As stocks closed, the 30-year U.S. bond was down 15/32.
But today's Dow decline still was modest compared with other recent days and compared with the 3.5 percent decline in Tokyo's Nikkei index in trading today.
At the close, the Dow stood at 2509.41, down 13.36, while declines led advances on the Big Board by a ratio of about 9 to 5 on lightly moderate volume of 143 million shares. Among Dow components, IBM put a damper on market sentiment by falling 1 1/4 to 109.
In the wake of Pan Am's entrance into bankruptcy proceedings and the rejection of TWA's buyout terms, TWA stock slipped 1/4 to 6 1/2. Meanwhile, UAL, which received permission to buy Pan Am's London routes, gained 1 1/4 to 111.
Northeast Banks continued to slide in the wake of Bank of New England's failure. Bank of Boston lost 3/4 to 5 1/8 and Shawmut shed 1/2 to 4 1/4. But not all the shakeout was local: California-based Wells Fargo lost another 2 5/8 to close at 51 3/8 after dropping 1 3/4 Monday.
The Dow transports outperformed the industrials by edging 3.75 higher to 898.05, while the utilities recouped about half of Monday's sharp loss, rising 1.26 to 206.93.
Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was down 0.54 at 314.90, the New York Stock Exchange Composite down 0.46 at 172.61, the Value Line down 1.15 at 234.18, the Amex Market Value down 0.40 at 299.78 and the Nasdaq Composite down 1.24 at 359.00.