Blue-chips hold gains, but tech sector lags

@CNNMoneyInvest April 16, 2012: 4:50 PM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed Monday, with blue-chips gaining and tech shares falling, as investors weighed an upbeat report on retail sales, corporate earnings and renewed worries about Europe.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 72 points, or 0.5%, to end at 12,849. The S&P 500 (SPX) eased nearly 1 point, or less than 1%, to 1,369. The Nasdaq (COMP) tumbled 23 points, or 0.8%, to 2,988.

Tech stocks, which have had a strong year so far, were among the worst performers. Shares of Sprint (S, Fortune 500), Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and even Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) were under pressure.

"The tech sector is the primary reason the market is weak today, but the financials are playing catch up," said Dan Greenhaus, market strategist at BTIG.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) shares rose after the bank reported a slight decline in first-quarter earnings, although results beat analysts' expectations after factoring in certain accounting adjustments.

The U.S. government said retail sales rose 0.8% in March, ahead of analyst expectations of 0.3%. But a survey of manufacturing activity in New York State fell sharply.

Meanwhile, investors remain nervous about Spain, where bond yields rose above 6% earlier Monday -- the highest level in several months.

The Spanish government, which will auction bonds later this week, has been struggling with rising borrowing costs amid fears that it may need to be bailed out.

"Spain continues to remind investors that all is not well in Europe," said Greenhaus.

However, there has been "a moderation in enthusiasm for equities" as the corporate earnings season gets into full swing, he added.

The week ahead brings earnings reports from 84 of the companies in the S&P 500, and 12 of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Overall, earnings are expected to have slowed in the first quarter after several quarters of robust growth.

Stocks are coming off of their worst week of the year. Last week, the Dow tumbled 1.6%, the S&P 500 sank 2% and the Nasdaq lost 2.3%.

Economy: U.S. business inventories rose 0.6% in February, following a 0.7% increase the month before, according to the Commerce Department.

An index of manufacturing activity in New York State fell in April to 6.6 from 20.2 in March, according to the New York Federal Reserve. The Empire index was much weaker than expected.

Companies: Citigroup shares rose after the bank said it earned 95 cents per share in the first quarter. Excluding certain items, Citi said it earned $1.11 per share. Analysts had been anticipating earnings of $1 per share.

So far, bank earnings are off to a solid start, after both Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) topped estimates with Friday's reports. Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) will all report earnings later in the week.

Mattel (MAT, Fortune 500) shares fell after the company reported quarterly earnings before the bell that missed expectations.

Gannett (GCI, Fortune 500) shares plunged after the newspaper publisher said it earned 28 cents per share in the first quarter, down 24% from the same period last year.

Shares of Baxter (BAX, Fortune 500) fell after the company said the Food and Drug Administration has requested additional information in order to complete a review of a drug being developed by Baxter and Halozyme Therapeutics. (HALO)

Nokia (NOK) shares were down after the company was downgraded by credit rating agency Moody's.

World markets: European stocks closed higher. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) rose 0.8%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany added 0.6% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) advanced 0.8%.

Asian markets ended lower. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) slid 0.1%, while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong shed 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) dropped 1.7%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained against the euro and the British pound, but fell versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for May delivery rose 10 cents to settle at $102.93 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery fell $10.40 to $1,648.70 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.99%. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET
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