The previous week bled into the current one with stocks ending lower for a second straight day on Monday, as investors searched in vain for any sort of guidance from the Federal Reserve about its next move, or lack thereof, on fiscal stimulus.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.47 percent to end the day at a total of 1,701.84 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.32 percent lower at 15,401.38, and the NASDAQ was off 0.25 percent to finish off at 3,765.29.
With little in the way of economic data until the middle of the week, stocks struggled despite good numbers out of China, as well as the reelection of Angela Merkel to the Chancelorship of Germany, the country widely seen as responsible for policies that have held the Eurozone together through several years of economic hardship.
The S&P 500 was weighed down primarily by tech shares, with Micron Technology (MU) , Microsoft (MSFT) , Cicsco Systems (CSCO) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) all ending the day lower on heavy trading. F5 networks (FFIV) was nearly 5 percent lower to $89.20.
On the Dow, financial stocks took the biggest losses amid continued uncertainty about the upcoming “taper”, with Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) both losing over 2.5 percent, with Visa (V) and American Express (AXP) in tow. Unitedhealth Group (UNH) pared back on some of the prior week’s losses, ending the day 1.3 percent higher.
On the other hand, the index got a great deal of support from Apple Inc. (AAPL) , who ended the day 5 percent higher with shares once again approaching the $500-mark, after the company reported 9 million units of its new phones iPhone 5 models sold since last week’s release.
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