Stocks slightly lower at open
U.S. markets pull back a little as economy continues to weigh on investors.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks eased at Monday's open, with investors considering some comments about the economy and awaiting a key report on manufacturing.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3%. The Nasdaq composite index was just below breakeven. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.2%.
At 10 a.m. ET, the Institute for Supply Management was scheduled to issue its February report on manufacturing, with forecasts indicating that the sector was no longer expanding last month.
In the news Monday:
Northrop Grumman, Boeing: The Air Force on Friday awarded Northrop Grumman and its European partner, EADS, a $35 billion contract to build airborne refueling planes, delivering a major blow to Boeing. Northrop Grumman (NOC, Fortune 500) Boeing (BA, Fortune 500)
Diebold: United Technologies said Sunday it has made an offer to buy the ATM maker for $2.63 billion. Stock (DBD)
Qualcomm: The U.S. mobile technology company faced another blow in its legal battle against handset maker Nokia on Monday, after a U.K. High Court Judge ruled that its claims over patent infringements are invalid. Stock (QCOM, Fortune 500)
HSBC: The global banking company said Monday profit rose 21% in 2007 despite taking a beating in North America with hefty impairments on subprime and other loans. Stock (HBC)
Thornburg Mortgage: The Santa Fe, N.M., jumbo mortgage lender saw its shares plunge 23% in premarket trading after the company said it received more margin calls as the market value of its mortgage securities holdings continued to fall. Stock (TMA)
E*Trade: The online brokerage named chairman, Donald Layton, as CEO. Stock (ETFC)
Fed comments: Despite the risk of inflation, further rate cuts may be appropriate and necessary amid a struggling economy, the president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said Monday.
Buffett: Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday that the U.S. economy is essentially in a recession even if it hasn't met the technical definition of one yet.