by Marc Bastow | March 18, 2013 4:54 pm
The small European country of Cyprus was the focus of attention Monday after the European Union announced a 10 billion euro bailout of the country’s banking system — which necessitates a tax on current deposits in the country — during the weekend. All three major U.S. indices fell on concerns of a European economic contagion … and perhaps some lingering profit-taking from Friday’s losing session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered some of its early losses but still finished down 0.42% to 14452.82, while the S&P 500 took the brunt of the day’s losses, off 0.55% to 1552.40. The Nasdaq slid 0.35% to end at 3237.59.
The banking sector was unsurprisingly rattled, with Citigroup (NYSE:C, -2.2%), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC, -1.2%) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM, -1%) all down on the day.
On the opposite side of the street, Big Tech did nicely. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) continued its recent march upward, rising close to 3% on an upgrade to “overweight” from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), while shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose more than 2% after Bloomberg reported that analysts believe the company will announce a 56% increase in its dividend.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) also got an analyst bump, improving more than 2% after Citigroup upgraded the communications and cable provider to a “buy” from “neutral.”
JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) rose more than 6% on news from ISI Group that suggested the retailer could raise $10.8 billion in cash if it becomes a real estate investment trust and leases space in 300 of its stores.
Finally, both Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) headed higher — STZ by 2%, while BUD was up fractionally — after the Justice Department gave the companies additional time to work out their merger plans.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long AAPL and VZ.
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