Updated from 3:14 p.m. EST

While complications on the road to Baghdad dragged the stock market lower, investors got little encouragement on the corporate news front.

Altria

(MO) - Get Report

fell after a judge ordered the company to pay $7.1 billion in compensatory damages to smokers for having deceived them into thinking "light" cigarettes were less harmful. Altria, which used to be called Philip Morris, also will pay $3 billion in punitive damages to the state of Illinois. Altria closed down 4.14% at $33.59.

Shares of retailers slid amid reports that shoppers stayed at home over the weekend to watch the war on television.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

lost 3.60% to $52.70,

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

shed 4.96% to $20.29 and

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

slid 6.08% to $27.96. All three companies said sales for the weekend were lower than expected. But despite the decline, Wal-Mart said sales growth was expected to be steady for March and April.

After a big rally Friday, the major airlines closed down following a nearly 5% jump in oil prices in New York and London. News of

Hawaiian Airlines'

(HA) - Get Report

demise also spooked the market. Even though the government is debating an aid package,

AMR

(AMR)

ended off 15.13% to $2.02, while

Continental

(CAL) - Get Report

shed 17.13% to $5.64 and

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

fell 16.53% to $9.39.

Despite declines in the broad market, defense shares recovered from recent losses, as investors speculated that the current conflict could extend the demand for war-related equipment. Shares of

Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get Report

gained 2.66% to end at $84.64, while Lockheed Martin rose 2.16% to $46.39.

Another sector saw buying interest Monday: gold mining.

Royal Gold

(RGLD) - Get Report

,

Durban Deep

(DROOY)

and

Pan American Silver

(PAAS) - Get Report

ended higher, as investors flocked to gold's perceived safety. After selling off last week, Royal Gold gained 5.12% to $13.75, Durban Deep added 3.43% to $2.41, but Pan American Silver closed down 1.03% to $5.75.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

Chief Executive Sandy Weil withdrew his nomination to the

New York Stock Exchange

board of directors amid criticism that he wouldn't truly represent the interests of small investors, according to media reports. Citigroup fell 3.90% to $35.75 amid broad weakness in financials.

Starwood Hotels

(HOT)

closed 10.22% lower at $24.06 after the company withdrew its guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year, saying events leading up to the war with Iraq caused business to fall. Starwood's news pressured rivals as well, with

Marriott

(MAR) - Get Report

off 9% and

Hilton

(HLT) - Get Report

off 10%.

Priceline.com

(PCLN)

said it will issue warrants for hotel chain operator Marriott to buy 5 million of its common shares in exchange for renewing a three-year marketing agreement. The company's shares lost 5.58% to $1.71.

Electronic Data Systems

(EDS)

rose 1.25% to $17.85 after reports that

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

had approached the company about making a minority investment or even an acquisition.

Drugmaker

Eon Labs

(ELAB)

said U.S. regulators had rejected the company's generic version of

Elan's

(ELN)

muscle relaxant Skelaxin. Eon shares shed 5.58% to $25.03.

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

slid 6.99% to $17.43, despite positive comments from CSFB. CSFB reiterated its belief that Disney will outperform peers in the media space over the next 12 to 18 months.

Airborne Freight

(ABF)

rose 8.27% to $18.07 after the company said it is in discussions to sell its ground operations to DHL in a cash deal that would pay a premium over Airborne's current share price.

Geron

(GERN) - Get Report

closed 14.45% higher at $3.88 after

The New York Times

reported on the company's patent battle with Advanced Cell technology. Once the smoke from the patent battle clears, the paper said the winner will be "in line for lucrative royalties."

On the research front, UBS Warburg downgraded graphics chipmaker

Nvidia

(NVDA) - Get Report

to reduce from neutral Friday. Nvidia shares ended 3.74% lower at $13.63.

Computer equipment retailer

PC Connection

(PCCC)

lowered its first-quarter earnings estimate to 3 cents to 6 cents a share, compared with analysts' forecasts of 6 cents. Sales are expected to come in between $280 million and $290 million, below analysts' estimates of $294 million. The company also announced Friday that its president, Kenneth Koppel, would be replaced by Chief Executive Patricia Gallup. PC Connection fell 19.88% to $5.32.

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

ended 5.19% lower at $18.25 after Salomon Smith Barney downgraded the company to in line from outperform. Elsewhere, shoe retailer

Finish Line

(FINL)

shed 5.61% to $13.96 after being downgraded to neutral from buy.

Royal Caribbean

(RCL) - Get Report

was a source of good news for the travel and leisure business, with Lehman Brothers upgrading the company to equal weight from underweight. Shares closed lower nonetheless, dropping 6.61% to $15.55.

Among the most traded stocks, oil well-capper

Boots & Coots

(WEL)

rose 64.18% to $1.10 amid speculation that the company could bid for oil-well firefighting contracts in Iraq's infrastructure rebuilding.

Walgreen

(WAG)

fell 4.15% to $30.50 after the company reported a 14% increase in second-quarter net profit.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray upgraded telecommunications equipment maker

Ericsson

(ERICY)

to outperform from market perform, but the shares slid 6.77% to $6.89. Also at Piper Jaffray, software maker

Symantec

(SYMC) - Get Report

was downgraded to underperform from market perform. Symantec lost 8.15% to $39.09.

Conexant

(CNXT) - Get Report

, a maker of chips for communications systems, said it will spin off its Mindspeed Technologies Internet infrastructure business to create two independent, publicly traded companies. Conexant shares closed 13.76% higher at $1.67.