INDUSTRY ISSUES SLIP WITH DJIA

NEW YORK — Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan opened his mouth on Wednesday and the stock market took a hit.
The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 83.25 points to 8095.06, and most retail and apparel stocks followed suit. Overall, losers on the New York Stock Exchange overwhelmed winners by better than 2 to 1.
Designer stocks were mostly on the downside. Polo Ralph Lauren dipped 3/4 to 25 7/16, again dropping below its $26 offering price when it went public last June. Donna Karan International slipped 1/2 to 16 1/2, Tommy Hilfiger gave up 15/16 to 46 7/8, and Nautica fell 1 1/4 to 28 1/2. Gucci Group was unchanged at 46 1/2. Mainstream Liz Claiborne and Jones Apparel Group also were on the downside, with Liz losing 1 3/4 to 54 1/2 and Jones easing 13/16 to 55 3/8.
In the retail sector, which had a bad day on Tuesday even though the market was up sharply, the direction was still mostly downward. Nordstrom dropped 1 3/8 to 60 3/8; Sears Roebuck, 15/16 to 54 7/8; Wal-Mart Stores, 5/8 to 35 15/16, and J.C. Penney, 15/16 to 57 7/16. There were a few gainers, however. Kohl’s added 1 to 67; May Department Stores, 5/16 to 53 9/16; Gap, 3/8 to 49 3/4; Ross Stores, 7/8 to 38, and Proffitt’s, 3/8 to 58 3/8.
Greenspan, in an appearance before Congress, questioned whether the healthy U.S. economy would continue indefinitely. This was interpreted to mean that interest rates might be going up.

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