(Updated with commentary, stock and commodity prices.)
NEW YORK (
) -- The stock market closed mixed on Monday as commodities headed lower and the dollar strengthened, a day before the
policy-making committee meets.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
ended the session down 41.34 points, or 0.4% to 9778.86, while the
declined 3.64 points or 0.3%, to 1064.66. The
added 4.75 points, or 0.24% to 2138.04.
Stocks started off lower on some profit-taking after the major stock averages posted their greatest weekly gains since July, leaving the S&P 500 more than 20% above its 200-day moving average and prompting Wall Street to rethink valuations. But some observers say it's "more of the same."
Stock Wrap: The Real Story, September 21
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"Yes, we're overbought, no doubt about it," says Jeffrey Saut, chief market strategist for Raymond James. "But markets can stay overbought, especially coming off the base we came off in terms of being oversold."
Moreover, says Saut, "Most of the pros have underplayed and underinvested and are sitting on too much cash as they come to the fiscal year end, and they have not only performance risk, but they have bonus risk and ultimately job risk -- and that's why corrections have been short and shallow."
It's "more of the same," agrees Charles Rotblut, senior market analyst with Zacks Investment Research. "We've had a nice run in the markets and there's not a lot of positive news
today, but the losses are pretty modest and it's really just a matter of some profit- taking."
Commodities were at the heart of the day's early weakness as the dollar strengthened against the euro and the British pound.
, which had topped $72 a barrel, settled down 23 cents at $69.48, while gold staged an intraday rebound, ending the session up 20 cents at $1,004.90 after earlier dipping below $1,000 an ounce.
The NYSE Energy Index and the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index fell 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index dropped 1%.
Among individual stocks,
lost 4.2% after news that
for $3.9 billion.
also fell 3.1% after it
a wider third-quarter loss as it continued to write down the value of its land and unsold homes, although the number of new orders rose throughout the quarter.
Fellow housing stocks
ended the session more than 1% lower after paring steeper losses from earlier in the day.
Economic data for the day was light with just the Conference Board's index of leading indicators, which increased just slightly less than expected, by 0.6%.
Meanwhile, much focus this week will be on the Federal Reserve's two-day policy-making meeting, which will wrap up on Wednesday. Traders will be looking for any clues as to how and when the administration will curb economic relief measures.
Wall Street will also have an eye later this week on a meeting between President Obama and the Group of 20 leaders in Pittsburgh. Of particular interest, the leaders aim to cement a plan that would force banks to curb leverage, hold more equity capital and keep more assets that can be easily traded,
Among bailout stocks, word that the government might give
a break on the terms of its recovery package
Obama kept up the rigorous pace of his economic speechmaking Monday. In a talk delivered at a community college in upstate New York, Obama offered a bright-side view of the country's long-term economic health, promoting his administration's recovery plan in the process. "If government does its modest part, there is no stopping the most powerful and generative economic force the world has ever known: the American people," Obama said.
In other news,
is seeking to raise up to $1.6 billion in its Hong Kong initial public offering -- vs. expectations for about $1 billion -- according to media reports.
investment arm is in discussions with
, China's biggest privately owned carmaker, to buy about $250 million of the company's convertible bonds and warrants, an investment that may spur Greely to make a bid for
Volvo unit, according to reports.
Stocks overseas were mostly lower. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 and the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.
In Asia, the Nikkei in Japan was closed for the session, while Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.7%. China's Shanghai Composite advanced 0.3%.
-- Written by Elizabeth Trotta in New York. Staff writer Scott Eden contributed to this report.