Keep in mind that, despite the 13 percent drop in the Dow since its high of 9337.97 on July 17, the index of 30 giant companies is still ahead for 1998 (as of Thursday) by 3 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, a broader measure of stocks with large capitalizations, is up 7 percent. At this point in the year, the S&P is performing precisely at the pace of its annual average (11 percent) since 1926.
Still, the large-cap indexes are hiding a lot of devastation. Four out of five stocks on the Nasdaq Stock Market are down 30 percent or more from their 12-month highs. Nineteen out of 20 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange are down 10 percent or more. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks is down 32 percent since April.
According to Lipper Analytical Services Inc., as trading began Friday, the average growth stock fund still had its head above water, with a gain for the year of 5 percent, but growth and income funds (usually a safer bet) were down by 1 percent, and small-cap funds were down 14 percent.
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