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Dow Loses 5.36 in Slow Trading After Holiday

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* Stock prices slipped in slow post-Thanksgiving trading Friday as economic worries retained their grip on the market. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 5.36 points to 2,894.68, finishing the week with a net loss of 8.05 points.

* Treasury bond prices rose in light post-holiday trading.

* The dollar closed mostly higher in quiet trading with renewed worries about political and economic troubles in the Soviet Union keeping investors hungry for the safety of the U.S. currency.

Stocks

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Traders were confronted with news of market declines in Tokyo and London and negative prospects for consumer spending in the Christmas selling season, which got under way in earnest Friday.

Advancing issues slightly outnumbered losers in consolidated nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange issues.

Big Board volume totaled 78.64 million shares, against 167.72 million in Wednesday’s session. That made Friday’s session the second-slowest of the year at the NYSE, surpassing only a 69.79-million-share day on July 5--also a Friday after a national holiday.

With its decline in the past week, the Dow Jones industrial average posted its fourth straight weekly loss. For November, the average fell 174.42 points, or 5.68%, cutting its gain for the year to date to 261.02 points.

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Among the market highlights:

* Among Friday’s most active issues, Philip Morris fell 3/8 to 67 3/4. On Wednesday, the company announced plans for accounting charges that were taken, in part, as a sign that growth appeared to be slowing at the company’s Kraft food operations.

* International Business Machines dropped 1 3/4 to 92 1/2 on top of a 3 5/8-point loss Wednesday. Earlier in the week the company announced plans to decentralize its operations.

That left the stock flirting with its previous low this year of 92, which in turn was the lowest point for the computer giant’s shares since late 1982.

* Retailing issues, in the front lines of holiday-season spending worries, turned in a mixed showing.

Wal-Mart Stores rose 1/4 to 48 7/8, and The Limited gained 1/4 to 24 7/8, but Gap Inc. lost 3/8 to 52 7/8; Kmart dipped 1/8 to 38 5/8, and Sears Roebuck was down 5/8 at 35 3/8.

* Banking and mortgage-finance issues finished mostly lower. Chase Manhattan fell 7/8 to 15; BankAmerica 1/4 to 31 1/4; Chemical Banking 1/2 to 21 1/8; Federal National Mortgage 1 to 55 3/4, and Federal Home Loan Mortgage 3/4 to 94.

On Wednesday, Congress passed legislation imposing new regulatory strictures on the banking system, rejecting most proposals by the Bush Administration to expand the range of business arenas in which banks could operate.

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* Utility issues accounted for a prominent number of the 22 NYSE issues that touched new 52-week highs. Houston Industries gained 3/8 to 41 1/4; Wisconsin Energy 1/4 to 37 1/8; Public Service of Colorado 1/8 to 26 1/8, and DPL 3/8 to 24 3/8.

Overseas, London stocks fell on nervousness about stability in the Soviet Union, and a poorer outlook for British corporate profits. The Financial Times 100 index lost 8.4 points to end at 2,420.2. The index fell 26.1 points for the week.

In Frankfurt, German shares suffered their largest drop in over three months as Moscow’s political and financial worries touched the market’s weak spot--its close economic relations with the Soviet Union. The 30-share DAX index slid 21.59 points to 1,566.57. For the week it was off 33.69 points.

In Tokyo, stocks also fell as early gains were erased by poor momentum and rehashed rumors about Soviet instability, brokers said. The Nikkei average fell 93.07 points to 22,687.35. The 225-share average dipped 430.04 points for the week.

Credit

In a shortened trading session, the price of the Treasury’s bellwether 30-year bond gained 3/8 point, or $1.25 cents per $1,000 in face amount. Its yield fell to 7.93% from 7.96% late Wednesday.

Elliott Platt, research director at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., said Treasury securities rose in overseas trading as the dollar gained in value against the German mark. The rise was attributed largely to nervousness over events in the Soviet Union.

The domestic markets, following the dollar’s rise, later added to the gains, which occurred in slow trading, Platt said. Many traders took the day off.

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Yields on three-month Treasury bills fell to 4.46% as the discount dropped 3 basis points to 4.35% from late Tuesday. Yields on six-month bills fell to 4.55% as the discount was off 4 basis points to 4.39%. Yields on one-year bills fell to 4.67% as the discount lost 4 basis points to 4.45%.

A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. The yield is the annualized return on an investment in a Treasury bill. The discount is the percentage that bills are selling below the face value, which is paid at maturity.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted at 4 13/16%, up from 3 3/4% late Wednesday.

Currency

The dollar rose to 1.6255 German marks and 130.00 Japanese yen late Friday in New York, up from 1.6145 marks and 129.90 yen Wednesday.

The dollar, traditional haven at times of international crisis, rose most strongly against the German currency because of Germany’s close economic ties with Moscow.

The British pound ended at $1.7680, against $1.7685.

The dollar edged higher to 1.4340 Swiss francs from a previous close of 1.4260 francs, but slipped to $1.1345 Canadian dollars from $1.1365.

Commodities

Energy prices closed mostly higher while grain prices fell in quiet trading. Persistent rumors of an impending Soviet coup lifted the oil market, where Soviet supplies are an influence, while pressuring prices of grains, of which the Soviets are a major importer.

Crude oil for January delivery rose 13 cents to $21.48 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. December unleaded gasoline gained 0.28 of a cent to 62.29 cents a gallon, while December heating oil fell 0.10 of a cent to 61.72 cents a gallon.

“The only thing to talk about is the (oil) products’ expiration,” said Victor Yu of Refco Inc. Many players sought to cancel out previously established positions in December contracts of gasoline and heating oil to avoid taking delivery.

Gold for February delivery lost 10 cents to end at $371.10 an ounce on the New York Commodity Exchange.


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