NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished on a mixed note Monday as eurozone debt concerns weighed on sentiment ahead of Alcoa's ( AA) postclose quarterly report, in which it beat estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 37 points, or 0.3%, to close at 11,637, falling for a third straight session. The S&P 500 dipped 2 points, or 0.1%, to settle at 1,270, while the Nasdaq Composite was the exception, rising 4 points, or 0.2% to 2,708. AT&T ( T) was the biggest laggard, shedding 2% ahead of an expected announcement from Verizon ( VZ) Tuesday that it will begin selling the iPhone by the end of the month. DuPont ( DD) and Microsoft ( MSFT) were other laggards. Overall breadth was negative, with 19 of the Dow's 30 components in decline. 3M ( MMM), Bank of America ( BAC) and Travelers ( TRV) were among the biggest percentage gainers within the Dow. Alcoa, which also managed a positive finish, said after the bell that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit grew to 21 cents per share on an adjusted basis on revenue of $5.65 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 20 cents a share for the fourth quarter on revenue of $5.68 billion.
As the first Dow component to issue its report each quarter, Alcoa's results are typically viewed as the official start of earnings season. Following their 5%-plus run-up in December, stocks seem to have already priced in significant earnings growth, so it may difficult for companies to impress already bullish analysts on the upside. "Companies will surprise by a couple of percentage points," said Jeff Kleintop of LPL Financial. "Consensus is for 30% year on year, which is a high hurdle. ... I don't think profit guidance is going to be up given productivity gains have slowed and companies are not hiring."