Stocks close down after Dow’s rally to 14,000

Associated Press photo by MARK LENNIHAN -- Stock traders work at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday. Market indexes took their biggest one-day drop as concerns about European resurfaced.
Associated Press photo by MARK LENNIHAN -- Stock traders work at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday. Market indexes took their biggest one-day drop as concerns about European resurfaced.

Major indexes dived the most this year Monday, the first trading day after the Dow Jones industrial average broke 14,000 and closed at its highest level since the financial crisis.

The Dow dropped as much as 143 points in afternoon trading. It closed down 129.71, or 0.9 percent, at 13,880.08.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 17.46 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,495.71. The Nasdaq composite index lost 47.93, or 1.5 percent, to 3,131.17.

Monday’s declines were the biggest drops this year for all three indexes. They followed a surge Friday that pushed the Dow over 14,000 for the first time since 2007, before the financial meltdown that routed world markets.

Wall Street’s celebratory mood was a distant memory Monday as U.S. stocks followed European markets lower. France’s CAC-40 closed down 3 percent, Germany’s DAX 2.5 percent.

“It started to look like things in the market are maybe getting a little ahead of themselves, compared to some of the data we’ve seen,” said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group. He said problems in Europe also are beginning to affect U.S. markets after several quiet months.

Borrowing costs for Italy and Spain rose Monday, Stone noted, reflecting concerns among bond investors that those countries may be unable to meet their financial obligations.

“It kind of restarts some of the old worries that we’ve been able to ignore for quite some time,” Stone said.

Friday was only the 10th time in its history that the Dow closed above 14,000. The first time was in July 2007; the rest were in October of that year. The index closed Friday just 155 points shy of its record high, set that October.

The rally was powered by solid economic data, including a January jobs report that showed the labor market is strengthening gradually. A broad measure of manufacturing also rose sharply.

The Dow is up nearly 6 percent this year.

Boeing was the only rising stock among the 30 in the Dow on Monday.

In other news:

MERCK: It was among the Dow’s biggest losers, dropping 98 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $40.85. The pharmaceutical company said Friday that its earnings declined in the fourth quarter and 2013 might be weaker than analysts had hoped.

HUMANA: The health insurer leapt $3.51, or 4.7 percent, to $78.86 after its results beat Wall Street’s forecasts.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN: The cruise operator fell after reporting a quarterly loss related to its Spanish cruise line, Pullmantur. Prices and bookings have plunged since the Spanish government imposed strict austerity measures. Royal Caribbean shares dropped $1.26, or 3.4 percent, to $35.53.

GANNETT: The media company fell $1.33, or 6.7 percent, to $18.51. Gannett’s earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations, but the company warned that its TV ad revenue will be hurt this quarter by the absence of $5.1 million in political spending and the move of the Super Bowl from NBC to CBS.

MCDONALD’S: It is offering its first new Happy Meal entree in a decade: Fish McBites.

ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM: The world’s largest producer of the metal said it suffered a $715 million loss in 2012 as violent labor unrest in South Africa paralyzed its operations for weeks.