Stocks Slip; Europe, Earnings Eyed
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Wall Street tilted lower on Monday, extending declines from last week, as traders awaited a meeting between eurozone finance ministers and remained skittish ahead of the start of earnings season.
As of 3:05 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.6 points, or 0.42%, to 12719, the S&P 500 dipped 4.8 points, or 0.35%, to 1350 and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 11.1 points, or 0.38%, to 2926.
The broad S&P 500 shed 0.94% on Friday on the back of a weaker-than-expected jobs report. The mood across global trading desks remained gloomy on Monday, with many Asian markets tumbling more than 1% in reaction to the data.
The U.S. economic calendar is light on the day, with a report on consumer credit conditions expected from the Federal Reserve at 2:00 p.m. ET. However, traders did get data from China showing inflation cooling down dramatically in June from May. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, saw its trade surplus widen more than expected in May.
The meeting between eurozone finance ministers, set to begin at roughly 11:00 a.m. ET, was expected to take the spotlight. Market participants are expecting the group to work on plans to recapitalize Spanish banks.
The yield on Spain's 10-year bonds crossed above the closely-watched 7% mark on the secondary markets, signaling a decreased risk tolerance. The cost to insure $10 million of the country's debt also climbed to $595,000, according to financial data firm Markit.
The euro edged up by 0.09% to $1.2301.
In corporate news, WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) unveiled plans to acquire Amerigroup (NYSE:AGP) in a $4.9 billion deal. Blue-chip aluminum maker Alcoa (NYSE:AA) also unofficially kicks off earnings season after the closing bell.
Oil futures got a boost amid a worsening strike by oil workers in Norway that is threatening to shut down production there. Crude oil futures jumped $1.54, or 1.8%, to $85.99 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rallied 1.6% to $2.759 a gallon.
In metals, gold rose $10.20, or 0.65%, to $1,589 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.34% to 2228, the English FTSE 100 fell 0.62% to 5627 and the German DAX slipped 0.35% to 6388.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 1.4% to 8897 and the Chinese Hang Seng tumbled 1.9% to 19428.