Closing Bell: Stocks Drift Lower in a Quiet Trading Day on Wall Street

Specialist Fabian Caceres, background right, works with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Steady growth in the U.S. economy and higher company earnings are pushing the stock market higher in early trading. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Richard Drew/AP

U.S. stocks mostly lost ground in quiet trading Monday on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,612 (^DJI). The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 2 points to 1,707, while the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) gained 3 points to 3,612.

There was little market-moving news to drive trading, other than a report from the Institute for Supply Management that the U.S. service sector expanded in July, helped by a rise in new orders.

It was the latest piece of data that economists and investors are puzzling through as they try to judge how well the U.S. economy is doing. Last Thursday, the ISM reported that manufacturing increased last month. The next day, the government reported that jobs weren't being created as quickly as economists had predicted.

In company news, J.C. Penney (JCP) says it has tapped a Kraft Foods (KRFT) executive as its new marketing chief to help revitalize the struggling brand and reconnect with its shoppers. The Plano, Texas-based chain said it named Debra Berman as senior vice president of marketing, effective last Friday. She will join the company's executive board and report directly to CEO Mike Ullman III.

Apple (AAPL) shares rose $6.91, or 1.5 percent, to $469.45, after the Obama administration overturned a U.S. trade panel's ban on the sale of some older iPhones and iPads, reversing a ruling that had favored Samsung Electronics over Apple in their long-running patent battles.

More Stocks in the News:

  • Shares of Steven Madden Ltd. (SHOO) rose $1.96, about 3.7 percent, to $55.27 after a pair of Goldman Sachs (GS) analysts upgraded their rating on the company's stock.

  • Revlon (REV) jumped after announcing that it will buy Colomer Group, which sells hair dye and other products to beauty salons. Revlon rose 1.6 percent to $26.16.

  • Berkshire Hathaway crept higher on the first day of trading after its earnings report. Warren Buffett's conglomerate posted a 46 percent rise in profit late Friday, easily beating Wall Street estimates. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) stock edged up 41 cents, or .35 percent, to $118.23.

  • Tyson Foods (TSN), the nation's biggest meat producer, jumped after announcing that its quarterly profits more than tripled. Tyson rose 4.1 percent, to $29.69.

  • Enzo Biochem (ENZ) shares surged 14 percent to $2.53 after the biopharmaceutical company said a federal court judge upheld a ruling in Enzo's favor in a patent infringement lawsuit, denying a request by Life Technologies (LIFE) for a new trial. The judge let stand a $49 million award granted Enzo by a jury last November for infringement of a patent on compounds used in DNA sequencing systems.

  • Time Warner Cable (TWC) CEO Glenn Britt offered to end a four-day blackout of CBS (CBS) stations, saying the cable operator would allow CBS to sell its stations' signal "a la carte" to consumers instead of being packaged with other channels. CBS signals have been blacked out to some 3 million Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas in a dispute over how much the cable operator has to pay for CBS programming.

What to Watch Tuesday:

  • The Commerce Department releases international trade data for June at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

  • The Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for June at 10 a.m.

These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly earnings statements:

  • CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS)

  • Walt Disney Co. (DIS)

  • 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA, FOX)

-Compiled from staff and wire reports.