Blue-chip shares sagged Monday, masking another strong day among smaller-company stocks as the market calmed after two stormy weeks.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up as much as 56 points during the session, but trailed lower into the close, falling 28.34 to 7,859.57.
The weakness among blue-chips weighed down several other popular stock indexes even though advancing issues outnumbered decliners in the broad market.
“Smaller and mid-sized companies are starting to move higher, and there’s a logical case for that happening,” said Richard E. Cripps, chief market strategist for Legg Mason of Baltimore. “The big concern with the Coca-Cola’s and Gillette’s is valuation. On a relative basis, (smaller companies) are cheap.”
With no major economic reports to move the market on Monday, the most noticeable aspect of the session was the relaxed tone.
On the New York Stock Exchange, volume totaled just 388.97 million shares as of 4 p.m., the first full-session tally below 400 million since May 19.
Some of the stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday:
Cardinal Health, up 3-1/4 at 65-9/16.
Bergen Brunswig, up 12-1/16 at 42.
Healthcare services provider Cardinal Health agreed to buy medical supply distributor Bergen Brunswig for $2.4 billion in stock.
Hudson Foods, down 7/8 at 14-5/16.
Burger King, Hudson’s largest beef customer, said its decision not to use Hudson’s beef is permanent. Last week, Hudson recalled 25 million pounds of beef, the nation’s largest such recall ever.
Osicom Technologies, down 1-11/16 at 4-3/16.
Barron’s reports in its Aug. 23 edition that Osicom’s chief executive and a former director of the company are the subject of active criminal investigations for allegedly duping shareholders out of millions of dollars.
ACC Consumer Finance, up 5-3/8 at 21-1/8.
Household International, up 5/8 at 116-15/16 on the NYSE.
Household International agreed to by ACC Consumer Finance for $22 a share, or about $200 million. Household International is a provider of consumer finance and credit-card products. ACC Consumer Finance is a specialty lender to the automotive industry.
SFX Broadcasting, up 6-1/4 at 74-1/8.
The investment firm of Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst has agreed to buy SFX Broadcasting for $1.2 billion in a deal that gives Hicks Muse the most radio stations in the country.
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