Stocks Take a Step Back

Gold and oil also move lower as some profit-taking takes hold after a long run upward. Alix Steel recaps the day in The Real Story video (above).
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(Updated with share price movements throughout.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- U.S. equity markets closed slightly lower Monday as the mood on Wall Street seemed to be why not take some profits here.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was lower by 32 points, or 0.3% to 9338. The

S&P 500

was down 3.4 points, or 0.3%, to 1007. The

Nasdaq Composite

was lower by 8 points, or 0.4%, to 1992.

On the Dow,

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

helped mitigate the damage, as shares closed up 2%. Earlier, the fast-food giant said global same-store sales rose 4.3% in July. Europe saw a 7.2% rise in comp sales last month, and the U.S. saw a 2.6% increase.

The dollar was in focus Monday, as the greenback gained ground on the euro.

Precious metals also weakened, with gold futures down $12.60, or 1.3%, to $946.90 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver fell 31.3 cents, or 2.1%, to $14.35 an ounce.

Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery finished down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $70.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Profit-taking shouldn't be unexpected, but some market observers argue that selling has been without any conviction, which is a positive for bullish investors.

"While the market is in need of rest, we are noticing that every decline during the day is met with buying so that by day's end, the market is finishing with mild losses instead of the 100-plus points of earlier trading," said Paul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates, in an email.

Over the weekend,

Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Report

, the investment vehicle of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, reported a 14% jump in second-quarter profit as the improving stock market boosted the value of the company's derivatives contracts. Still, Berkshire shares closed down $4,100, or 3.8%, to $104,000.

Meanwhile,

Dynegy

(DYN)

said Monday it will sell five peaking and three combined-cycle generation assets, as well as its interest in a project under construction in Texas to

LS Power Associates

, its one-time development partner.

The energy company separately reported a second-quarter loss of $345 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $272 million, or 32 cents a share. Shares of Dynegy finished up 30 cents, or 15.5%, to $2.23.

Elsewhere on the earnings front,

Dish Network

(DISH) - Get Report

said second-quarter earnings fell 81% from a year ago, despite the first quarterly increase in subscriber count in more than a year.

Last week, rival

DirecTV

(DTV)

posted a subscriber loss in the second quarter. Dish Network shares were up 88 cents to $19.30, giving back some of their early gains.

In other stock news,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

said it will sell its Razorfish digital advertising agency to

Publicis Groupe

for $530 million in cash and treasury shares, a smaller price tag than analysts had anticipated. Microsoft shares finished down 14 cents to $23.42.

Away from stocks, Treasuries rose Monday ahead of the U.S. government's record $75 billion in bond and note sales later this week. The 10-year note was up 21/32 in price, dropping the yield to 3.76%. The 30-year note gained 1 11/32 in price, yielding 4.52%.

Overseas markets were mixed, with Asian indices rising and European bourses giving back some ground. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.1% to 10,524.26 on positive manufacturing data, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 2.7% to 20929.

On the other hand, London's FTSE 100 dipped 0.2% to 4722, Germany's DAX was down 0.75% to 5418, and the Paris CAC was off 0.5% to 3504.

-- Reported by Scott Eden and Robert Holmes in New York

.

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