Originally created 10/24/98

Dow streak ends

NEW YORK -- Small-company stocks rose for an eighth straight session, but the Dow's winning streak ended Friday as investors took some profits after two weeks of nearly continuous gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 80.85 to 8,452.29, shrinking the week's gain to 35.53.

It was the biggest decline in three weeks for the Dow, which just two weeks ago was nearly 1,000 points lower, threatening to slide beneath its summer low of 7,400.

Most broad-market indicators also succumbed to some profit-taking Friday, but smaller-company names rose again as investors continued to hunt for bargains in that battered sector.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 0.65 to 367.05, extending its rally to eight consecutive trading days and 14.6 percent.

While the mood remains much improved compared with earlier this month, it was clear all week that the blue-chip rebound was provoking concern about whether the company profit outlook could justify any further gains.

The Dow had risen for seven straight sessions before Friday, but the first four days of this week had provided only 116 points of the nearly 600 gained during that streak.

By finishing lower Friday, the Dow missed out on its first eight-session winning streak since December 1996. The seven-session string was its best since June 1997.

The spark behind most of the market's recent gain was the Federal Reserve's unexpected decision late last week to cut interest rates again. It was the second rate cut in a month by the central bank, which has been trying to combat the drag of economic crises abroad.

The Dow now holds a respectable gain of 544 points, or 6.9 percent, for the year, but still sits about 900 points, or 9.7 percent, below the July 17 record of 9,337.97.

3M led the Dow decliners for a second straight session after posting disappointing third-quarter results, falling 4 to 77 7/16.

Microsoft fell 3Ö to 106É to lead the Nasdaq retreat after jumping nearly 10 points during the prior two sessions in an earnings-driven rally.

In other trading Friday, the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 7.81 to 1,070.67, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 8.78 to 1,693.86.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 4-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where composite volume totaled just 776.07 million shares, down from 897.72 million on Thursday.

At least some of the weak trading volume was attributed to a midday distraction -- a victory parade up the nearby Canyon of Heroes for the World Series Champion New York Yankees.

The NYSE composite index fell 3.18 to 529.82, and the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 0.66 to 628.21.

Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average fell 1.1 percent, Frankfurt's DAX index fell 0.1 percent and London's FT-SE 100 fell 0.2 percent.


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