Updated from 4:08 p.m. EDTStocks in New York closed modestly lower Monday, unable to catch a break, even with news on a trio of mega mergers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.89 points, or 1.2%, to 6547.05, and the S&P 500 slunk back 6.9 points, or 1%, to 676.53. The Nasdaq was lower by 25.21 points, or 2%, to 1268.64. Industrials and financials managed to outperform for the day, however. Bank of America ( BAC) led the Dow with a 19.4% increase, and the KBW Banking Index added 5.3%. There were mixed feelings for the morning's first merger announcement. Merck ( MRK), the weakest Dow component, lost 7.7% to $20.99 after proposing a $41 billion cash-and-stock merger deal to Schering-Plough ( SGP), offering shareholders 0.5767 of a Merck share and $10.50 in cash for each of their shares. While Merck was down, Schering's shares surged 14.2% higher to $20.13. Also, the Wall Street Journalreported that the board of Genentech ( DNA) is near a deal to sell the biotech staple to Swiss pharma company Roche for $95 per share, citing people familiar with the matter. Genentech's shares added 2% to $92.63 in the session. And in yet another a merger update with mixed results, Dow Chemical ( DOW) and Rohm & Haas ( ROH) have reportedly reached a settlement for the $15 billion merger between the two firms, agreeing to close a deal no later than April 1, according to CNBC. Dow Chemical shares lost 11%, while Rohm & Haas surged 16%. Meanwhile, Washington continues to fixate on investors, says Paul Nolte, Director of Investments at Hinsdale Associates. "The daily news briefing, the comments about the horrendous economy, floating the possibility of a new stimulus package (just after the second was signed) and little resolution to the banking crisis have kept investors from stepping into stocks with any confidence. In fact, many are stepping away and vowing to never return," he writes.