Stock market participants are expected to take a new look at the fundamentals this week, now that the dreaded "triple witching hour" has passed.
The market moved lower through most of the day Friday, as interest rates rose sharply on fears the dollar could be in for some more declines. A plummeting dollar could deter the Federal Reserve from easing credit conditions, analysts said, since it could portend higher inflation. Another fear is that a declining dollar could scare crucial foreign investors out of the U.S. bond market.Traders were cautious ahead of the so-called triple witching hour involving the simultaneous expiration of stock index futures, stock index options and individual stock options at Friday's close.
The witching hour was less traumatic than some had feared, but was reflected in a surge in trading in the last half hour to more than 40 million shares from less than 14 million shares in the final 30 minutes Thursday.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials fell 11.67 points to 1762.51. The transportation index, on the other hand, gained 13.88 points to 780.13 and the utilities index rose 0.99 to 201.09.
Among active transportation issues, Arkansas Best Corp. rose 1 to 46 in late trading. Late Thursday, the company declared a 2-for-1 stock split and increased its quarterly dividend.
Union Pacific Corp. rose to 56 in late trading. It made a bid Thursday of $43.25 a share for Overnite Transportation. The latter rose to 42 .
USX Corp. led the active list on the New York Stock Exchange, rising 1 at 24 on turnover of more than 15 million shares. Australian investor Robert Holmes a Court has said he intends to buy up to 15 percent of the stock, and it was rumored that others may also be acquiring shares.
Many oil stocks were strong Friday on reports the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was able to hold crude output below its set quota for the first half of September.
Atlantic Richfield rose 1 to 58 , and Chevron gained to 42 in late trading.
BankAmerica rose 1 to 11 on volume of more than 2.4 million shares. It had been sold heavily earlier in the week on rumors, vehemently denied, that the institution was having severe financial problems.