STOCK MARKET: The peevish Summer of '77

Earlier this year, as the economic recovery picked up momentum, some savvy Wall Street professionals were predicting that stock prices would zoom and the Dow Jones industrial average would easily soar beyond the peak of 1,051.70 it reached in 1973. So much for savvy. Since January the stock averages have wobbled and worried their way down steadily. Last week the 1977 market's peevishness turned into something approaching panic, as a selling stampede slashed share values and drove the Dow down to its lowest level in 18 months.

The slide began early in the week, when both Exxon and U.S....

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