Stocks Off Lows, but Dow Logs 4-Day Decline
Stocks finished mixed Monday, recovering from their session lows, as investors shrugged off worries over the eurozone's ability to handle its sovereign debt woes following France and Greece's elections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its fourth-consecutive decline, slipping 29.74 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 13,008.53.
H-P and Caterpillar led the laggards,while BofA rallied.
The S&P 500 gained 0.48 points, or 0.04 percent, to end at 1,369.58. The Nasdaq added 1.42 points, or 0.05 perecnt, to finish at 2,957.76. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended below 19.
Among the key S&P sectors, financials gained, while techs lagged.
Financials were the session's biggest gainers, led by Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley . Analysts cited a potential government bailout for troubled Spanish bank Bankia as a boost for the financial sector.
"Oddly enough, the Greece and France elections have helped downplay the severity of our own domestic economic concerns, and turned the focus to the horrific immediate outlook for the eurozone," said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at The BlackBay Group.
In Europe, Greek voters rejected ruling parties in elections, a result that puts the country's future in the euro zone at risk. And in France, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande won the second roundof French presidential elections.
Greece's vote, combined with victory for Hollande over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, will raise pressure on Europe's paymaster Germany to pursue a more growth-oriented approach to the crisis. (Read More—Greece More Likely to Exit Euro After Elections: Citigroup)
"I am concerned about a potential for a double-dip," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "We’ve been using the weather excuse all the way through and now we’re in the merry month of May and that’s going to wear out...I think those numbers were not good at all and if you look at the wages, they’re not keeping up with inflation so your buying power is going down."
Oil prices fell to settle below $98 a barrel, while gold also edged lower, pressured by a stronger dollar.
Intel raised its quarterly dividendby 7.1 percent to $0.225 from $0.21, the firm's third increase in the past 18 months.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals skyrocketed after the biotechnology company's new cystic fibrosis drug showed positive results in a mid-stage study.
Groupon rallied after CEO Andrew Mason explained the daily deal website's plans to build a broad local-commerce platform.
Among earnings, Tyson Foods
Cognizant Technologies tumbled to lead the S&P 500 laggards after the IT consulting firm slashed its guidance.
Electronics Arts is scheduled to post earnings after the closing bell.
On the M&A front, Talbots received a raised takeover bid of $215 million, or $3.05 a share, from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Sycamore had previously offered to pay $3 a share in December.
DigitalGlobe rejected a $792 million takeover offer from rival GeoEye saying the hostile bid substantially undervalued the satellite imagery company and its financial prospects.
And Comcast says NBCUniversal is exercising an option to sell most of its stake in the A&E cable channel, and that the deal would likely close in the second half of the year. The transaction would be worth about $2 billion.
Facebook kicked off its IPO roadshowin New York City. The social network giant indicated an IPO range of $28 to $35 a share, which would value the company at $77 billion to $96 billion.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC—
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz index, 3-yr note auction, McDonald's April sales, Fed's Fisher speaks; Earnings from DirecTV, Discovery Comm, HSBC, Wendy's, Disney
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, BofA shareholders mtg, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Fed's Pianalto speaks, Fed's Plosser speaks; Earnings from Toyota, AOL, Dean Foods, Macy's, Cisco, Activision Blizzard, NewsCorp, Priceline.com
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, import & export prices, 30-yr bond auction, Ford shareholders mtg, Fed Chairman Bernanke speaks, Fed's Evans speaks, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks; Earnings from ArcelorMittal, Kohl's, Sony, Nordstrom
FRIDAY: Producer price index, consumer sentiment; Earnings from Nissan, Nvidia
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