by Marc Bastow | July 9, 2012 5:35 pm
Investors came back from a long holiday weekend with a lot on their minds, as the markets opened lower on concerns about second-quarter earnings and uncertainty over Europe ahead of another eurozone meeting later this week.
By the end of the day, however, markets managed to stage a mild rally to end Monday modestly lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.28% to 12,736, the Nasdaq fell 0.19% to 2,931 and the S&P 500 finished down 0.16% to end at 1,352.
According to CNN, 63 out of 103 companies lowered earnings projections for the quarter, leading to concerns about a still-slowing economy. Investors also turned their attentions to Europe, where the ministers of the eurozone countries will meet over the next two days to try and find a way to stabilize troubled banks and struggling economies.
The earnings season officially kicked off after the bell, as Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reported a second-quarter loss that generally was in line with Wall Street projections, though revenues were better than forecast. AA shares were flat to slightly higher in after-market trading. (Editor Jeff Reeves gives his post-earnings take on Alcoa here.)
Unfortunately, much of the market damage was done prior to the end of the session, as industrial and energy shares led the declines. DuPont (NYSE:DD), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) all were down between 1% and 2% for the day.
A few stocks made minor moves on news, as Boeing (NYSE:BA) rose amid an awarded contract by Virgin Australia to deliver 23 units of its new 737 MAX airplanes, while Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) dropped less than 1% after announcing the acquisition of Bolthouse Farms and to enter into the yogurt business through a joint venture with Germany’s Theo Muller, respectively.
The bad news at Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) continued, as the company announced a plan to lay off 2,400 employees, including 600 from its Geek Squad service and repair unit. The news sent the stock down nearly 2% for the day.
Discount retailers bucked the trend of the day, though. Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) was up more than 1.5%, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) rose 0.56% to reach a 12-year high and Dollar General (NYSE:DG) gained half a percent.
Earnings season continues Tuesday with footwear and apparel maker Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE:WWW) scheduled to release earnings in the morning. Results are due later in the week from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), among other notable companies.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long XOM.
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