U.S. stocks slip below records; FMC falls
New York • Stocks slipped below record levels on Monday as investors assessed corporate news. Wisconsin Energy and General Electric both fell after the companies announced that they had made acquisitions.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,960 as of 3:41 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,925. The Nasdaq composite index edged down two points to 4,366.
DEAL NEWS: Micros Systems rose $2.20, or 3.3 percent, to $68.42 after Oracle said it was buying the company for about $5.3 billion. Wisconsin Energy fell $1.57, or 3.3 percent, to $45.32 after the company said that it was buying Integrys Energy for $5.8 billion. Intergrys jumped $8.01, or 13.1 percent, to $68.91. General Electric fell after agreeing to acquire most of the power generation business of Alstom. GE dropped 29 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $26.68.
FARM WOES: FMC fell $3.54, or 4.7 percent, to $71.99, making it the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 index. The chemicals company cut its earnings forecast for the second quarter due after its Agricultural Solutions unit performed worse than expected after farmers used less of its products due to an unusually harsh winter.
YOGA BATTLE: Lululemon rose $1.20, or 3 percent, to $41.42 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s founder was working with investment bank Goldman Sachs to shake up the yoga clothing company’s board. Lululemon’s stock is down 30 percent this year as the company works on improving its business since pulling one of its popular yoga pants from stores last spring because they were too sheer.
SUMMER LULL: The stock market may be heading toward a summer lull after a recent string of gains, said Scott Wren, a senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. The S&P 500 has gained for four of the past five weeks and is up 6 percent for the year.
"We’re starting to get some summer doldrums going," Wren said. "After the big run we’ve had over the past couple of months, a week or two of consolidation isn’t anything out of the ordinary."
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from Friday at 2.61 percent. The price of oil dropped 66 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $106.17 a barrel.