Published October 08, 2012
FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
After snapping a two-week losing streak last week, the markets fell mildly on Monday after the World Bank cut down its economic growth forecast for Asia.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 26.5 points, or 0.19%, to 13584, the S&P 500 dipped 5.1 points, or 0.35%, to 1456 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 23.8 points, or 0.76%, to 3112.
Most of the major sectors were to the downside on the day, led by sliding technology and telecommunications shares. However, energy and utility stocks managed to eke out gains.
The World Bank sliced its estimate for economic expansion in Asia for this year to 7.2% from 7.6% when it last reported in May. Growth in China, the world's No. 2 economy, is now expected to come in at 7.7% from 8.2%.
Still, even taking into account the pared back expectations, the Asian economy is growing much faster than many Western economies. In fact, industrial output in Germany cooled down by 0.5% in August from July, a slightly shallower fall than expected, signaling Europe's economic powerhouse is feeling the impact of the eurozone's debt crisis.
Traders were also expected to pay close attention to a meeting of the Eurogroup, which is made up of eurozone finance ministers. The group said the meeting will focus on the banking sector, but analysts are also watching closely for any clues on whether Spain will request official assistance.
U.S. bond markets were closed for the Columbus Day holiday. There were also no economic releases on tap.
On the corporate front, UnitedHealth (UNH) unveiled plans to buy a 90% stake in Amil, Brazil's biggest health-care player, for roughly $4.9 billion. Earnings season unofficially kicks off on Tuesday, when aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) posts its quarterly results.
Oil futures continued sliding after falling for the third week in a row last week. The benchmark contract traded in New York dropped 55 cents, or 0.61%, to $89.54 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline skidded lower by 2% to $2.893 a gallon.
In metals, gold dipped $5.10, or 0.29%, to $1,776 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 sold off by 1.4% to 2496, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.5% to 5842 and the German DAX dropped 1.4% to 7291.
In Asia, the Chinese Hang Seng fell 0.89% to 20825. The Tokyo Stock Exchange was closed for the Health-Sports Holiday.