) -- Major U.S. stock markets closed lower Monday as the excitement of corporate dealmaking led by



was offset by investor concern that the

Federal Reserve

may curb its bond-buying economic stimulus program.


S&P 500

closed off 0.07% to 1,666.29 while the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

lost 0.12% to 15,335.51. The


slid 0.07% to 3,496.43.

The Fed's Open Market Committee is expected to publish its minutes on Wednesday offering investors clues about whether the central bank plans to continue buying roughly $85 billion in assets each month to stimulate the U.S. economy. Conservatives among the bank's presidents have dominated the conversation in recent weeks, warning that the program is adding to inflation while holding back economic growth.

The day's trading session was otherwise dominated by the announcement that Yahoo! plans to acquire the privately-held blog network


in a deal valued at $1.1 billion, while drugmaker


(ACT) - Get Report

said it plans to acquire specialty pharmaceuticals firm

Warner Chilcott


for $8.5 billion in stock and assumed debt.

Also see:

Yahoo! 'Tumbling' Down the Right but Expensive Path

Yahoo! added 0.2% to $26.58 as

Warner Chilcott


rose 2% to $19.60and


(ACT) - Get Report

gained 1.3% to $127.15.


Federal Reserve

president Charles Evans, a FOMC voting member, spoke on Monday at the CFA Society Chicago Distinguished Speakers Series and said that the Fed has acted appropriately in guiding the economy. New York Fed President Bill Dudley is expected to speak on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify on the outlook for the U.S. economy before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. Later that day, the FOMC will release minutes from its April 30 to May 1 meeting.

Thomson Reuters reported that there have been 74 negative EPS preannouncements issued by S&P 500 corporations for the second quarter 2013, compared to 12 positive EPS preannouncements, resulting in a negative to positive ratio of 6.2 for the S&P 500 Index; if this persists, it would be the most negative of this ratio since the first quarter of 2001, according to Thomson Reuters.

The report also said that 67% of the 463 companies in the

S&P 500

have reported first-quarter earnings above analysts' expectations, which is higher than the long-term average of 63% and matches the average over the past four quarters of 67% as companies manage to squeeze out better-than-expected earnings through measures including cost-cutting, hurting the outlook on hiring and possibly the economy in future quarters.

Only 47% of companies that released results reported first quarter revenue above analyst expectations, which is lower than the long-term average of 62% and lower than the average over the past four quarters of 52%, the report noted.



surged 28.8% to $24.76 after saying on Monday it has agreed

to be taken private


Vista Equity Partners

in an all-cash deal that values the Internet security specialist at $24.75 a share or just under $1 billion.


rose 3.5% to $842.50 after Deutsche Bank raised the online travel services stock to "buy" from "hold" as its profit margins stabilize. The analysts said that Priceline is the "clear global secular winner" in the online travel agency business.

June gold futures

jumped $19.40 to $1,384.10 an ounce, while July light sweet crude oil futures added 64 cents to settle at $96.93 a barrel.

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Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York

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Andrea Tse