Stocks Close Lower as Buyers Get Jittery

Enron's bankruptcy and Argentine debt concerns contribute to a pullback.
Publish date:

Updated from 3:11 p.m. EST

Stocks finished decidedly lower Monday as



bankruptcy filing, renewed debt concerns in Argentina and military actions in Israel weighed on investors.


Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 87.60 points, or 0.9%, to 9763.96. The

Nasdaq was down 25.68 points, or 1.3%, to 1904.90, and the

S&P 500 was off 9.55 points at 1129.90.

Enron filed the largest corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy in history Sunday. The energy merchant also sued



, saying the one-time suitor was aware of the extent of its fiscal woes when it agreed to buy Enron. The suit, filed in a federal court in New York, alleged that Dynegy relinquished the right to squelch the deal even after negative news was disseminated. Dynegy's shares were down $3.18, or 10.5%, to $27.17, while Enron rose 14 cents to 40 cents.

Several bank stocks were lower on concerns about their lending exposure to Enron, including

J.P. Morgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

, which was down $1.17, or 3.1%, to $36.55, and


(C) - Get Report

, which fell 99 cents, or 2.1%, to $46.91.

Economic officials in Argentina announced new banking restrictions over the weekend as the nation struggles to restructure $132 billion in national debt. The amount of cash that can be withdrawn or transferred to a foreign account is now limited to $250 a week, and new loans will only be issued in dollars instead of pesos.

In the Middle East, Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a building near Yasser Arafat's office in Gaza in retaliation for weekend suicide bombings by Palestinian militants.


slew of mostly positive economic data was released Monday, including a report from the National Association of Purchasing Management showing its factory index rising to 44.5 in November from 39.8 in October. While anything under 50 signals contraction, the reading was higher than expected. Meanwhile, personal spending rose 2.9% in October, while personal income was unchanged, the Commerce Department said. The rise in spending was slightly higher than expected, and reflected incentives in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.


Ford Motor

(F) - Get Report

dropped following reports that the automaker will issue a profit warning this week. The company's shares shed $1.14, or 6%, to $17.80. Chief rival

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

said sales rose 13.3% in November. GM also said it expects demand to recover in early 2002, but the company's shares fell 67 cents, or 1.4%, to $49.03.

In other corporate news,



agreed to buy



for stock worth $1.5 billion. Shares of MedImmune lost $5.27, or 12%, to $38.83. Aviron was up $4.37, or 11.8%, to $41.42. For more corporate news, check out's

Stocks to Watch.

Overseas, European stocks were mostly lower, with London's FTSE 100 losing 0.8% to 5165 and Germany's Xetra DAX off a fraction at 4988. Asian stocks fell, with the Nikkei 225 finishing down 3.1% to 10,371 and the Hang Seng losing 1.1% to close at 11,155.

Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year Treasury was up 12/32 to 102 9/32, yielding 4.70%.