Updated from 8:11 a.m. EDT
Wall Street was falling early Monday as U.S. investors, fresh off a positive month for the
, took a step back as the U.S. manufacturing sector continued contracting and another financial-sector chief was shown the door.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 138 points to 12,500, and the S&P was dropping 14 points at 1386. The Nasdaq was off 29 points to 2493.
The declines came even though the Institute for Supply Management put its national factory-activity index at 49.6 in May -- a full point higher than the prior month and better than the consensus estimate. Still, that was a bit below the break-even level of 50.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said construction spending was down just 0.4% in April, a little ahead of the 0.6% consensus. Data from March was revised to minus 0.6% from the originally released negative 1.1%.
said that CEO Ken Thompson has been
by the board a few weeks after the bank disclosed that its first-quarter loss was 80% higher than it had originally reported. Thomson had been stripped of his chairman title in the wake of those losses. Shares were down 3.3%.
Elsewhere in the financial space,
announced that it will be splitting its chief executive and chairman roles. Stephen Frank will be chairman, while Kerry Killinger remains CEO.
The decline in U.S. stocks came also amid suffering European exchanges as Britain's largest lender to landlords,
Bradford & Bingley
, sliced the price of its rights offering and stoked fears that credit-related losses are continuing to spread.
Recently, the FTSE 100 lost 0.9%, the Germany's Xetra Dax sank 1%. The Paris Cac plunged 1.4%. Asia markets fared better, however. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.7% overnight, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.2%.
Back in U.S. shares, fertilizer concern
said its fiscal first-quarter earnings quintupled from last year to $33.1 million on sales that ramped up 75% at $84.4 million. Still, the stock lost 0.9%.
reported that Japan-based carmaker
is considering shaving down its U.S. revenue guidance amid dwindling sales of its larger vehicles.
was upped to outperform at Friedman Billings, and Keefe Bruyette upgraded
. Logging company
was cut to hold from buy at Deutsche Bank.
Friedman Billings also boosted the price targets of several coal producers, among them
As for commodities, crude oil lost $1.42 to $125.93 a barrel. Gold futures were up $1.90 to $893.40 an ounce. The U.S. dollar climbed 0.2% against the euro, but yielded 0.6% to the yen.
Treasury prices were rising. The 10-year note added 7/32 in price to yield 4.03%, and the 30-year bond was up 9/32 in price, yielding 4.70%.