Updated from 3:36 p.m. EST
Stocks slumped on the first trading day of the week, with the
Nasdaq getting hit the hardest among the major averages. The tech-heavy index ended down 31.72 points, or 1.7%, to 1990.74. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96.11 points, or almost 1%, to 9891.42, and the
S&P 500 lost 7.19 points, or 0.6%, to 1138.41.
The selling Monday followed
cautious words from Merrill Lynch strategist Richard Bernstein and came at the outset of a heavy week for corporate earnings announcements.
Companies scheduled to report earnings this week include
was benefiting from positive comments by Goldman Sachs, which upgraded the stock to market outperform from market perform, citing a stabilizing balance sheet and a strong cash position. The business-to-business software company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Jan. 22. Analysts are expecting the company to lose 5 cents a share, reversing a profit of 5 cents a share in the year-ago period. The stock traded up 5.4% to $7.56.
In Washington, a congressional committee is seeking details on an October memo sent by compliance officials at Arthur Andersen to the team working on
audit. The panel reportedly believes the memo instructed team members to continue following Andersen's policy on document disposal. Andersen admitted last week its employees had destroyed large numbers of documents pertaining to the audit.
said that its SnET2 drug, designed to treat age-related macular degeneration, didn't perform well in late-stage clinical trials. As a result, the stock plummeted nearly 75% to $2.44.
Analysts at Salomon Smith Barney lowered their fourth-quarter earnings estimate on
to 21 cents a share from 25 cents a share and cut their 2002 profit estimate to 90 cents a share from 95 cents based on limited visibility. The firm also lowered its price target to $20 from $22. Subsequently, WorldCom's shares dropped 2.3% to $13.46.
was higher after South Korea's
said that a possible alliance of the two memory chipmakers could be delayed as there are "differences to be narrowed." The two companies have been in talks regarding an alliance or merger since December. Micron's shares were up 0.7% to $35.36.
denied that it has any interest in acquiring industrial giant
after rumors circulated on trading floors Friday afternoon. The stock recovered from the merger chatter to gain 4.3% to $52.40.
finalized its $5 billion acquisition of
. Dime shareholders were given the choice of receiving common stock, cash or a combination of both to conclude the deal. Washington Mutual was off 4.3% to $33.15.
European markets were lower, with London's FTSE 100 losing 1.6% to 5114 and Germany's Xetra Dax down 2.8% to 5066. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4% to 11,209, while Japan's markets were closed for a holiday.
Government notes and bonds were lower in the afternoon. Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year Treasury was lower by 1/32 to 101, yielding 4.87%.