Updated from 3:43 p.m. EDT
Sellers Win the Day
At 5:50 p.m. EDT
was weaker from the opening bell, and it never made a recovery attempt Monday, closing the session down 155.88 points, or 1.8%, at 8418.77.
As I've said before, not a big deal. I prefer gains to losses, but considering how good the index has been since March 9 -- up more than 30% through last Friday -- I'm willing to overlook the occasional selloff. At some point, you have to take some of those profits.
Even with the decline, the industrials are still up 3.1% this month. They're down for the year to date, though it's only a 4.1% decrease thanks to the rally of the past two months.
The biggest drags on the Dow this time were
, which together accounted for 63 points of the overall drop.
was the biggest offset, contributing 11 points to the winning side, but it didn't have a great deal of help, as only four other stocks rose.
Remember, most weeks this year have started on the downside. Just three times has the first session of a week ended in the green.
We Shouldn't Be Surprised
At 3:28 p.m. EDT
With about half an hour left in the trading session, the
was near its session low, down 143 points at 8432. Barring a last-minute rally, yet another week will begin with a loss.
Now that earnings season is nearing its completion and the government has finished its stress tests , investors are going to have to find something else to worry about.
This week we've got a host of economic data in the days ahead. A string of bad numbers could lead to further selling. Better-than-expected readings and maybe the DJIA will climb for the ninth time in 10 weeks. Obviously there's no way of knowing that at this point.
What is known is that the opening sessions of trading weeks haven't been very good indicators of where the market ends up on Fridays. And we should get a fairly interesting picture of the state of the economy between now and then.
At this point, 24 of the 30 Dow stocks were weaker, led by
, down 9.9%.
Bank of America
were falling more than 6%.
On the plus side, tech stocks continued to have a better day, with
setting the pace. Otherwise, not much in the way of gains for the industrial average.
Early Losses for the Dow
At 11:25 a.m. EDT
If it's Monday, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
is probably in negative territory. With only three exceptions, the industrials have started every week this year with a loss.
So far it's looking like another decline. Recently, the index was down 118 points at 8457, and earlier it went as low as 8423.
The good news is that since mid-March, most weeks have seen the DJIA rise, and as a result, the average is up more than 30% since hitting a 12-year low two months ago. That's quite a move, and we can't be surprised if we take the occasional step back.
Not everyone believes in this rally yet, and even those who do might be a little concerned about the pace of this advance. That being the case, a downtick every now and then isn't anything to lose sleep over.
Of the 30 stocks, 23 were falling, including all of the financials.
was losing 4.7% to $27.08, and
was off 4% at $37.37.
Bank of America
was down 3.9% at $13.62, and
was shedding 0.8% to $3.99.
The worst stock, on a percentage basis, was
, which slumped 10% to $1.45. CEO Fritz Henderson held a conference call to talk about the company's restructuring, and he said bankruptcy is
, even though he naturally insisted it's not a certainty yet.
Washington wants to know carmaker's plan for turning things around by June 1, and that's getting awfully close.
As for the few winners, techs were having the best day.
was up 1.9% to $103.37, and
was adding 1.7% to $15.55.
tacked on about 1% each.