NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Investors used the opportunity to cash in Monday on the recent strong gains among blue chip stocks, leaving the Dow industrials with a loss for the day. But modest gains in technology stocks helped the Nasdaq to close at a record high for the second trading session in a row.
Changes to the Dow -- which now includes technology leaders Microsoft and Intel -- had little impact on the market, and the day's economic data releases did little to liven up trading.
The Dow fell 81.35 points to 10,648.51. On the New York Stock Exchange, gainers narrowly beat losers 1,537 to 1,522 on active trading volume of 834 million shares.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.22 to 2,967.65, heading closer to the 3,000 milestone, while the S&P 500 index dropped 8.81 to 1,354.12.
The bond market declined, with the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond falling 8/32 of a point in price, raising its yield to 6.18 percent from 6.16 percent Friday.
The dollar fell slightly against the yen and rose slightly against the euro.
A new Dow for the millennium
The rare change to the 30 Dow Jones industrials announced last week took effect Monday. The editors of the Wall Street Journal said the changes would make the Dow "more representative of the evolving U.S. economy," in which the fast-growth technology sector dominates.
Two of the four issues being added to the Dow posted slight gains. Home Depot (HD) advanced 1/2 to 76-1/4 and SBC Communications (SBC) rose 1/4 to 53. However, Microsoft (MSFT) slipped 3/16 to 92-3/8 and Intel (INTC) fell 1-7/16 to 76.
Issues being dropped from the Dow are Chevron (CHV), Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. (GT), Sears, Roebuck & Co. (S) and Union Carbide Corp. (UK). Chevron edged 1/8 higher to 91-7/16, Goodyear fell 2 to 39-5/16, Sears slipped 1-1/16 to 27-1/8 and Union Carbide inched 7/8 lower to 60-1/8.
Despite the day's lackluster activity, traders did not express concern.
"Things seem to want to quiet down at this point. We have had a heck of a run the past two weeks with very strong gains. It is only to be expected to ease off a little," said Michael Lyons, senior trader at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
Technology stocks pare early gains
The technology sector was pressured late in the session after news of another earthquake in Taiwan, which suffered a major earthquake on Sept. 21. The country is a leading producer of semiconductors and any such disaster could cause computer chip production to slow down, leading to delays and supply pressures among U.S. computer makers.
In the day's newsmakers, semiconductor giant Motorola Inc. (MOT) rose 4-15/16 to 102-1/4 after unveiling a new chip design that will enable cellular phones to operate on any wireless network in the world. The new chip would strengthen Motorola in its competition in the cellular telephone market against rivals Texas Instruments (TXN) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM).
Texas Instruments declined 2-3/4 to 87, while Qualcomm rose 2-7/16 to 225-3/16.
Among the top gainers, Wit Capital Group Inc. (WITC) jumped 4-13/16, or more than 27 percent, to 22-3/8. The online investment bank said Monday it will purchase SoundView Technology Group for $320 million in stock and options. SoundView, a specialist in the Internet sector, would assist Wit Capital's expansion of its products in the Internet arena.
Also in the news, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) dropped 13/16 to 25-11/16 on expectations the company will announce an agreement with the Hong Kong government Tuesday to build a theme park there. Newspapers in the region said the local government will invest approximately $2.6 billion, while Disney is investing about $250 million.
In e-finance news, Dow component Citigroup (C) declined 7/8 to 53 3/8 after announcing Monday it will acquire 19 percent of the Japanese online brokerage firm Nikko Beans. The purchase would allow Citigroup, the top U.S. financial services firm, and Nikko Beans to sell to each other's customers in Japan, where Citigroup already offers banking and investment products through the Internet.
Transportation issues fell sharply as rising oil prices weighed on the sector. In New York, December crude oil futures gained 76 cents to close at $22.51 a barrel.
The Dow transports index fell 82.48 points, or 2.7 percent, at 2,976.50. Among its components, UAL Corp. (UAL), parent of United Airlines, fell 3-1/4 to 64-13/16 and AMR Corp. (AMR), parent of American Airlines, dropped 3-7/8 to 59-5/8.
Economic data releases Monday were largely discounted by investors. The National Association of Purchasing Management index, which measures manufacturing activity, slipped to 56.6 in October from 57.8 in September. An index level of 50 or more indicates the manufacturing sector is expanding. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the index to drop to 56.4.
In earnings news, several health-care service companies are scheduled to report this week, including Cigna (CI), Oxford Health Plans (OXHP) and Humana (HUM). Cigna closed down 1-3/8 to 73-3/8.
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