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Indexes give up early gains on Wall Street and turn mixed in late morning trading
NEW YORK (AP) ¯¯¯ U.S. stocks gave up early gains and were trading slightly lower on Wall Street early Monday, following big gains last week on hopes for more action by European leaders to address that region's debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down nine points at 13,065 at 11:30 a.m. The Dow had been up 53 points in mid-morning trading.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets separately with Germany's finance minister and the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, on Monday. Draghi's pledge to do whatever was needed to protect the euro set off a market rally last week. The Dow rose back above 13,000 for the first time since May and is now up 1.6 percent for the month.
Expectations are high that Draghi will back up his words with action when the central bank meets Thursday, said David Brown, the CEO and chief market strategist at the research firm Sabrient. "I think that's the big story this week," he said. "The market has really responded to his bold statement. I hope the ECB takes action. If they don't do anything, it's not going to be pretty."
Investors are also looking toward the Federal Reserve's meeting this week. Many in the financial markets believe the Fed will take new steps to stimulate the economy in coming months.
Two corporate deals announced early Monday pushed some stocks higher. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. agreed to buy Shaw Group for $3 billion in cash and stock. Shaw jumped $15.16, or 57 percent, to $41.85.
Also, medical and industrial equipment maker Roper Industries plans to buy hospital software company Sunquest Information Systems for $1.42 billion. Roper also raised its earnings estimate for the year, a result of the pending merger and a stronger dollar. Roper gained 5 percent to $103.60. Sunquest is privately owned.
In other trading, the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index is down two points to 1,383, while the Nasdaq is down 12 points to 2,945.
Supermarket operator Supervalu rose 2 percent to $2.03 after the company announced that it would oust its CEO. Earlier this month the Minneapolis company reported weaker sales and profits and suspended its dividend. Supervalu also said it may put itself up for sale.