Meanwhile, Francois Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential election by about four percentage points on Sunday.
The election had turned into a referendum on austerity measures championed by Sarkozy and his close partner, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as they sought to lead the eurozone out of its debt crisis.
Merkel has already invited Hollande to Berlin for his first official visit as France's president after his inauguration on May 15. Merkel cautioned though against any expectations that the austerity measures and the fiscal compact that European leaders have agreed upon will be undergoing renegotiation.
Also on Sunday, Merkel's coalition of Christian Democrats and pro-business Free Democrats lost a state election in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, potentially weakening her political clout in Germany and affecting the country's ability to dominate in eurozone decision-making."The reaction is somewhat contained because of the lack of acceptance as to what the overall consequences could be," said Jeff Sica, president and chief investment officer of SICA Wealth Management, of the elections. "This market is very short sighted ... it has difficulty looking at consequences that are not right in front of its face." "The real catalyst will be when Spain is more upfront about the depth of its problems," Sica added. In Europe, the Dax in Germany was down 0.4% and the London stock exchange was closed for the May Day holiday. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closed down by 2.6%. Japan's Nikkei average fell 2.8%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury gained 1/32, diluting the yield to 1.881%. The dollar was up 0.1%, according to the dollar index. In commodity markets, the June crude oil contract was off 58 cents at $97.91 a barrel. June gold futures fell $5.80 at $1,639.40 an ounce. The only piece of U.S. economic data came late in the afternoon when the Federal Reserve said consumer credit swelled by $21.3 billion in March, more than $10 billion above the consensus estimate compiled by Briefing.com. Another hot topic on Wall Street on Monday was Facebook kicking off its IPO roadshow in Manhattan. The social networking giant expected to make its public debut on May 18. The pricing range for the shares is $28-$35 each. Sterne Agee is an early bull on the stock, initiating coverage with a buy rating on Monday. "Just like Google did less than a decade ago, we believe Facebook is disrupting the worldwide advertising market (~$600 billion), particularly its $68 billion sub-segment of online advertising (a market that is expected to reach $120 billion by 2015 or CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 13%)," said the firm, which set a one-year price target of $46 and a two-year target of $59 for the stock.
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