- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) A profit warning from McDonald's discouraged investors yesterday, reminding them of the weak economy and prompting them to unload stocks.
Although there was some good economic news, investors still opted to take profits from a substantial advance in the previous session and from a two-month fall rally. Analysts said some selling was to be expected, given the market's recent gains and the fact that the earnings and economic recoveries investors are hoping for in 2003 aren't yet assured.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 92.01, or 1.1 percent, at 8,535.39, having jumped 193.69 Monday.
The broader market also retreated. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 8.29, or 0.6 percent, to 1,392.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 7.41, or 0.8 percent, to 902.99.
"We had a big run-up yesterday, and the basis for that is not really clear," said Ed Peters, chief investment officer at PanAgora Asset Management in Boston. "McDonald's could have a negative impact. And things in the Middle East continue to sound worrisome, and that has some impact."
Yesterday's batch of economic news was rather positive. The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose 0.1 percent in November, bouncing off a 0.6 percent drop in October and matching Wall Street's expectations.
In another report, the Labor Department said consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in November, the smallest gain since July and better than analysts had expected.

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