Blue-chip stocks end lower; Apple lifts Nasdaq
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Blue-chip stocks finished lower Monday, ahead of potentially market-moving events later in the week, and
"It looks like kind of a blurring trading day, which might be indicative of a relatively boring week, although we do have Jackson Hole coming up, but that's at the very end," said Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Investments, of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech scheduled for Friday in Wyoming.
Also, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi could offer hints on ECB policy when he speaks Saturday at the Fed's annual symposium.
"A lot of this rally off the late May or early June lows is from Draghi's comments that the ECB would do whatever it takes to keep the euro okay, together, so any clarity he can bring to that statement will be viewed positively," said Smith.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 33.3 points, or 0.3%, to close at 13,124.67.
Twenty of the Dow's 30 components finished in the red, including
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) fell 0.69 point to 1,410.44, with utilities and technology the best performers and telecommunications and materials faring worst among its 10 sectors.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) rose 3.4 points, or 0.1%, to 3,073.19.
"Looks like a confused market, as bond prices rise, signaling fear, but small-cap stocks continue their outperformance signaling the opposite," said Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist at Pension Partners LLC.
Movers: Apple, Tiffany
Apple shares (AAPL) gained 1.9% after the iPad maker won a patent fight with South Korean rival
On the S&P 500,
Decliners edged just ahead of advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, where 504 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 2.5 billion.
The price of oil fell, with crude futures for October delivery (CLV2) retreating 68 cents, or 0.7%, to $95.47 a barrel. Gold advanced, with the most active contract (GCZ2) adding $2.70, or 0.2%, to end at $1,675.60 an ounce. Read more on gold.
An index of regional manufacturing activity from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas showed a narrower contraction in August than in July.