NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were modestly lower Monday as investors prepared for the start of corporate earnings season. The market gave up some of its gains from late last week, which were driven partly by news of a surge in hiring last month.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,014 as of 1:42 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,976 and the Nasdaq composite fell 31 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,455.
The Dow closed above 17,000 for the first time Thursday following the strong jobs report. U.S. financials markets were closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.
EARNINGS BEGIN: Investors will get a sense of how corporate profits are faring as earnings season begins this week. Aluminum mining giant Alcoa reports its latest results on Tuesday and Wells Fargo, the No. 1 U.S. mortgage lender, reports on Friday. Investors are expecting second quarter profits to be up 4.9 percent from a year ago, according to FactSet.
“I think we’re going to exceed expectations,” said Joe Tanious, global market strategist with J.P. Morgan Funds. “Companies were able to post 6 percent earnings growth in the first quarter, even with the U.S. economy contracting. Now that we’ve seen a rebound in economic activity, I think we’re looking at a pretty good earnings season.”
BIG SELLING IN SMALL COMPANIES: The Russell 2000 index, which is made up primarily of small, riskier companies, was down more than double the rest of the market. The index lost 1.4 percent, versus the 0.5 percent decline in the S&P 500
GROUNDED: Major airlines stocks fell after the Transportation Security Administration announced new security measures that would impact international flights into the United States. The TSA said that all electronic devices would need to have power in order to travel, including tablet computers and cell phones, which could impact the number of passengers able to travel.
United Continental fell $1.57, or 4 percent, to $38.35, Delta fell $1.61, or 4 percent, to $36.99 and American Airlines fell $1.31, or 3 percent, to $40.31. Domestic U.S. airlines fell less. JetBlue fell 19 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $10.70 and Southwest fell 41 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $27.31.
PROMISING RESULTS: BioDelivery Sciences International was up 7 percent after the drug developer said its treatment for severe pain fared better than a placebo in another late-stage study. The company said the trial triggered another $10 million milestone payment from Endo International Plc, which has a licensing agreement with BioDelivery. BioDelivery’s stock rose 83 cents to $12.81.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.62 percent from 2.64 percent late Thursday. Bond yields fall when prices rise. U.S. crude oil for August delivery fell 57 cents to $103.49 a barrel.