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LEAD: N.Y. stocks end lower on concern about U.S. economy.

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 Kyodo


New York stocks finished lower Wednesday, with the key Dow Jones index down nearly 100 points, on lingering concern about the health of the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 99.80 points to finish at 8,824.34, following a sharp gain of 359.61 points the previous day on the Federal Reserve's decision to cut the key interest rate to near zero.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 10.58 points to 1,579.31 after the previous day's gain of 81.55 points.

A wide range of issues was sold from the outset on ''profit-taking'' from the previous day's rally, dealers said.

The Fed lowered its target for the federal funds rate banks charge each other for overnight loans to a historic low of zero to 0.25 percent to prevent the U.S. economy from further deterioration.

The market briefly went into plus territory on hopes for the government's bailout plan for the embattled U.S. auto industry, with shares of General Motors Corp. drawing buying. But buying soon lost steam and losses widening toward the end of Wednesday's session.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Dec 22, 2008
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