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Stocks Lower; Dow Down 40

February 2, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened lower as technology shares continued to lose ground and blue chips were spotty.

At 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 40.68 at 9,305.02, extending Monday’s 13-point loss.

Broader stock indicators were lower, with the Nasdaq composite down 23.42 at 2,486.67, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 composite off 7.03 at 1,265.97.

The Dow lost ground Monday after news of strong growth in the economy raised concerns about inflation and higher interest rates.

This morning, investors got another piece of bullish economic news as the Conference Board, a private research group, reported that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.3 percent to 106.5 in December from a revised level of 106.2 in November. The data, which signals above-average growth in the months to come, was stronger than economists had expected.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 7-to-4 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 93.27 million shares, down slightly from Monday’s pace.

Computer-related stocks were big losers, with America Online down 3/316 at 168 in leading volume on the New York Stock Exchange, and Dell off 2 13/16 at 105 1/16 in leading Nasdaq volume.

The Dow industrials were led lower by another computer stock, Hewlett-Packard, which was down 2 3/8 at 79 9/16, followed by Merck, down 2 5/16 at 149 1/4.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 1.23 percent, but European stock markets were lower. In afternoon trading, Germany’s DAX index was down 0.46 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 was down 0.31 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was down 1.58 percent.