(At 5:59 p.m. EDT) The Dow Jones Industrial Average started the day on the upswing, but get this -- the gains wouldn't hold and the index closed lower. Surprised? Don't bother answering. Another poor end to what is an endlessly painful southward slog for the measure. This time, the Dow fell 79.89 points, or 1.2%, to 6547.05. Of the 30 stocks, 14 rose. The financials, however, got a rare break, and Bank of America ( BAC) had the biggest percentage increase, climbing 19.4% to $3.75. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), though, missed the move, and slipped 3 cents to $15.90. Elsewhere, General Motors ( GM) was up 15.9% to $1.68 after sinking to a multidecade low on Friday, and General Electric ( GE) added nearly 5% to $7.41. As was the case throughout, Merck ( MRK) was the worst stock, declining 7.7% to $20.99. I guess it would be too much to expect a rally that can be sustained. The Dow tacked on 32.50 points in the final session last week, but I hope you weren't looking for a continuation. Remember this next time we have an up day: The Dow hasn't put together back-to-back wins since Feb. 6. For the year, the industrials saw their losses extended to 25.4%, and thus far in March, the DJIA has given back 7.3%. That's in six trading days.
Finding It Hard to Commit
(At 1:53 p.m. EDT) The Dow began the week by visiting both sides of the flat line Monday, but it was doing so within a fairly tight range. With around two hours left in the session, the index had traded between 6545.14 and 6709.61. Recently, it was lower by 46 points at 6581.