Closing Bell: Stocks Head Lower Despite Surge in Tech Shares

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Richard Drew/AP

Stocks ended Monday's trading down for the fourth straight day, weighed down by continued concern over the Federal Reserve's plan to taper its stimulus program.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 71 points, or 0.5 percent to 15,010, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gave up 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,646, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) slipped 14 points to 3,589.

With little expected this week in the way of economic indicators, market participants are focused on the minutes from the July Fed meeting, due out Wednesday, for possible insights into policymakers' thinking.

Growing concern about a pullback in the program contributed to the Dow's largest weekly drop in more than a year last week. Trading volume has been light in recent sessions because of uncertainty about the Fed, as investors kept to the sidelines.

In company news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) fell 2.7 percent to $51.88 after reports that the bank was the target of federal bribery investigation into whether it hired the children of to Chinese officials to help win business. Other bank stocks lost ground, too. Bank of America (BAC) fell 1.9 percent to $14.15 while Citigroup (C) lost 2 percent to $49.33.

More Stocks in the News:

  • Shares of U.S. Steel (X) fell nearly 4.4 percent to $17.99 after following Friday's announcement that CEO John Surman will be stepping down. The steel company said President and Chief Operating Officer Mario Longhi was elected to replace Surman, who will stay on as executive chairman through the end of the year.

  • Saks (SKS) ended trading off 0.3 percent to $15.97 after the retailer reported a second-quarter loss and same-store sales that were below expectations. The New York-based company is in the process of being acquired by Hudson's Bay Co. for $16 a share.

  • Intel (INTC) rose the most of any Dow stock, gaining 1.7 percent to $22.28, after Piper Jaffray upgraded the Dow component and boosted its price target on the stock. Other major tech stocks also rose, with Apple (AAPL) gaining 1.1 percent to $507.90 and Google (GOOG) adding 1 percent to $865.65.

  • Zillow (Z) shares fell 7.1 percent to $84.74 after the company announced a stock offering and said it agreed to buy New York real estate website StreetEasy for $50 million.

  • Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN) jumped nearly 4 percent to $6.90 after the company said it will soon introduce an epilepsy drug after having received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Activist investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in Chesapeake Energy (CHK) to 9.98 percent from 8.98, according to a regulatory filing. The stock rose in morning trading but ended Monday's session 23 cents lower to close at $24.77.

  • Dollar General (DG) rose 3.1 percent to $54.09, after analysts at JPMorgan Chase upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral" and raised their price target to $64 from $51, citing signs that sales and profit margins were improving.

What to Watch Tuesday:

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its latest survey of U.S. economic activity at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

These major companies are reporting corporate quarterly earnings

  • Barnes & Noble (BKS)

  • Best Buy Co. (BBY)

  • Home Depot (HD)

  • J.C. Penney Co. (JCP)

-Compiled from staff and wire reports.