The Dow Jones industrial average pulled off a late rebound to post a slim gain Monday, but most stocks pulled back modestly as money managers worked to guard 1996’s robust gains with the year winding down.
The Dow rose 4.62 to 6,489.02, erasing a 34-point drop in the last half hour. Last week, the blue-chip barometer tacked on nearly 180 points, including a 126-point gain on Thursday.
Broader measures fell, with the Nasdaq market showing the worst damage as computer-related shares gave up some ground for the second consecutive session.
Technology shares “have been great stocks this year, and for investors trying to nail down some profits in the last week, that’s one sector they would turn to,” said Jim Weiss, of State Street Research and Management Co. in Boston.
Stocks slipped despite a strong bond market, where the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell to 6.58 percent from late Friday’s 6.60 percent.
Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday:
Airgas, down 3 at 21-1/4.
The Radnor, Pa.-based company expects to incur a loss due to alleged fraud by a supplier, but didn’t estimate the amount or when it would be recorded. Airgas said it is suing for breach of a contract under which it has paid $23 million.
Pacific Gas & Electric, down 1-1/4 at 21-5/8.
Smith Barney analyst William Tilles downgraded Pacific Gas & Electric to “neutral” from “outperform,” the Dow Jones News Service reported. Further details weren’t immediately available.
Home Beneficial, up 8-11/16 at 37-15/16.
American General agreed to buy Home Beneficial for $665 million, or $39 a share, solidifying Houston-based American General’s position as one of the nation’s five biggest life insurers.
Roosevelt Financial Group, up 2-25/64 at 20-33/64.
Mercantile Bancorporation of St. Louis agreed to buy its midwestern rival for $1.07 billion in stock and cash. Roosevelt, with assets of $9 billion, has 81 branches in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois and a strong mortgage business. The deal values St. Louis-based Roosevelt at $22 a share.
Florida Panthers Holdings, up 2-3/4 at 12-3/4.
The hockey team owner agreed to acquire two resorts in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for 8.4 million shares of Panther stock. The properties, the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort and Marina and the Radisson Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Marina, are currently owned by The Rahn Group.
Ampex, up 5/16 at 10
Maxtor, a unit of South Korea’s Hyundai Electronics, agreed to manufacture disk-drive platters incorporating Ampex’s technology. Specific terms of the contract weren’t disclosed. Ampex is based in Redwood City, Calif.