Grrrrrr! Three Bears Take a Bite of the Stock Market

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Wall Street just remembered that to get rich, you’ve still got to sell once in a while. After watching the Dow and NASDAQ spend the past three weeks wafting in record territory, and hearing this week’s good-news, bad-news earnings reports — such as Microsoft’s, which combined Street-beating earnings with oblique forecasts of Y2K headaches — investors evidently figured Tuesday was as good a time as any. "This was profit-taking, pure and simple," says TIME Wall Street columnist Dan Kadlec of the three bears (the Dow shed 191, the Nasdaq 98 and the S&P 30). "Mixed earnings messages like Microsoft’s set the techs going, and the Dow just followed."

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Days like this have been rare lately, though, and one gloomy Tuesday hardly means they’ll be coming thick and fast in the near future. "The economy is strong, the Fed won’t raise rates in August, and earnings, as a whole, have been excellent," says TIME senior economic correspondent Bernard Baumohl. "There’s no real reason to be concerned about the stock market."