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Wall Street Creeps Lower

Treasuries rise, and markets are mixed overseas.

Updated from 4:26 p.m. EDT

Stocks fell Monday, as a new round of acquisitions failed to provide a spark amid a backdrop of worry that the market might need a rest after its recent rally.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

, coming off three straight record finishes, lost 42.58 points, or 0.33%, at 12,919.40. The Dow touched an intraday all-time high of 12,983.92 before retreating.

Overall, 20 of the index's 30 components ended in the red, with

General Motors

(GM) - Get Free Report

falling 3.2%.


S&P 500

was down by 3.42 points, or 0.23%, at 1480.93, while the


slipped 2.72 points, or 0.11%, to 2523.67.

Volume and breadth weakened from the prior session. About 2.48 billion shares changed hands on the

New York Stock Exchange

, with decliners edging advancers by a slim margin. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 1.94 billion shares, with losers outpacing winners 3 to 2.

Among subsector indices, the Amex Airlines Index fell 1.9%, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index slumped 0.9%, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index ended lower by 0.7%, and the S&P Retail Index slid 0.5%.

On the winning side, the Nasdaq Biotech Index added 1.3%, and the Philadelphia Utility Index rose 0.7%.

"We have another week of important and potentially market-moving earnings, but then the impact of earnings will slow," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist with Cantor Fitzgerald. "As we start to focus in on May, the market should look to settle back from this impressive run."

Paul Nolte, director of investments with Hinsdale Associates, said that bullish sentiment was weakening as the month continues to wind down, especially because he sees valuations as high and the market overbought.

"April has been a terrific month, but May is usually not so kind, and the economic data should still point to a slowing economy once we get past this week," said Nolte. "We have been cautious for a while, waiting for better valuations and more worries to enter the market. We may have to wait a while longer, but historically, when present conditions exist, returns going forward are usually pretty meager."

As traders returned to work after the weekend, a series of big takeover deals were stealing the headlines from earnings. One transaction will see


(BCS) - Get Free Report

pay $91 billion deal for Dutch bank

ABN Amro


, ending considerable speculation about the buyout.

Shares of Barclays were off 2.9% to finish at $58.27, and ABN Amro was lower by 2.3% at $48.16.

However, the dealing didn't end there, as ABN struck a separate pact to sell its Chicago-based LaSalle unit to

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Free Report

for $21 billion. Bank of America said the net cost to it will be $16 billion. Bank of America shed 53 cents, or 1%, to $50.51.

Elsewhere, another company that was on the block reached an agreement with a buyer. Vaccine maker



, which recently said it was considering its options, will be taken over by


(AZN) - Get Free Report

in an arrangement worth more than $15 billion.

MedImmune surged 17.8% to close at $56.57, while AstraZeneca slumped 5.3% to $55.91.

Turning to some of the quarterly reports,


(HAS) - Get Free Report

easily topped analysts' profit estimates, and


(NVS) - Get Free Report

said its earnings rose 11%. Hasbro jumped 7.7% to $32.54, while Novartis was off 0.7% to end at $57.44.


(KMB) - Get Free Report

topped first-quarter estimates but said it anticipates full-year adjusted earnings of $4.10 to $4.20 a share this year, below the Thomson First Call average estimate of $4.21. The stock slipped 84 cents, or 1.2%, to $71.10.

Treasuries were trading higher, with the 10-year note up 6/32 in price, yielding 4.65%, and the 30-year bond adding 10/32 to yield 4.83%.

As for commodities, the June crude oil contract, trading as the front-month contract for the first time, surged $1.78 to finish at $65.89 a barrel. Gold lost $1.60 to $694.20 an ounce, and silver tacked on 10 cents at $14.06 an ounce.

Overseas, stocks were mixed in Asia and lower in Europe. Tokyo's Nikkei added 0.02% to 17,455, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.05% to 20,557. London's FTSE eased 0.1% to 6479, and Frankfurt's Xetra DAX was down 0.1% at 7336.