(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a negative note as investors await for new signs from policy makers later this week amid hopes of further monetary measures to stimulate the global economy.
S&P 500 Index lost 0.05 percent to close at 1,385.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.02 percent lower to end at 13,072.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 0.41 percent to finish at 2,945.84.
Investors keenly anticipate the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday and the European Central Bank's policy meeting a day after. A report from the U.S. Commerce Department last week confirmed the world's largest economy expanded at a slower pace and ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank could do whatever is needed to protect the beleaguered euro.
On the domestic economic front, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index for July came in at minus 13.2, sharply down from a reading of plus 5.8 last month.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: JPM, CBI, SHAW, L, TRW, PGNX, SLXP, TSL
In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) fell 2.03 percent. Shares of the financial services giant were downgraded to "Hold" from "Buy" by Deutsche Bank, which cited less compelling risk/reward. Deutsche Bank wrote it has become "increasingly" concerned that EPS expectations may be too high, capital deployment may disappoint and regulatory/legal matters remain uncertain.
Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (NYSE:CBI) retreated 14.15 percent after the engineering and construction company agreed to acquire Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) for $46.00 per share, or around $3 billion in cash and stock. The deal represents a 72 percent premium to SHAW's previous closing price. SHAw shares jumped 55.45 percent.
Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:PGNX) and Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP) lost 50.09 percent and 12.41 percent, respectively after U.S. health regulators sought more clinical data following a review of constipation treatment Relistor. Progenics licensed rights for Relistor to Salix.
Loews Corp. (NYSE:L) lost 5.23 percent after the company posted a sharp fall in quarterly earnings, hurt by impairment charges related to the carrying value of its natural gas and oil properties and a drop in profit at 50 percent-owned Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. due to a decline in rig utilization.
TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE:TRW) gained 5.59 percent after the supplier of vehicle-safety equipments agreed to pay a fine of $5.1 million to settle an antitrust probe by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Trina Solar Ltd.'s (NYSE:TSL) U.S. listed shares slumped 10.54 percent after the China-based provider of solar-panel products reduced its second-quarter forecast, blaming lower-than-anticipated shipment volume.
Roper Industries Inc. (NYSE:ROP) is acquiring Sunquest Information Systems Inc, a provider of laboratory information system software, for about $1.4 billion in cash. In addition, the company posted in-line earnings and it raised full-year forecast after quarterly orders grew 8 percent. Shares added 1.07 percent.
MWI Veterinary Supply (NASDAQ:MWIV) advanced 5.08 percent after the company boosted its earnings and revenue guidance for the full year after posting third-quarter results.
On the earnings front, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Eastman Chemicals (NYSE:EMN), Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV), Forest Oil (NYSE:FST), PMC-Sierra (NASDAQ:PMCS) and Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) are due to report their quarterly results after the markets close.
European markets ended sharply higher, with Germany's DAX gaining 1.27 percent to close at 6,774.06. France's CAC40 jumped 1.24 percent to finish at 3,320.71. U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 1.18 percent to end at 5,693.63.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index fell 0.89 percent to finish at 2,109.91. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.80 percent to end at 8,635.44. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 1.61 percent to end at 19,585.40. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,143.68, up 1.81 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures shed 0.52 percent to $89.66 per barrel while natural gas futures jumped 6.20 percent to $3.202 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures advanced 0.21 percent to $1,626.1 per ounce and silver futures added 2.32 percent to $28.135 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro dropped 0.53 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2258. The British pound fell 0.24 percent against the greenback to 1.5710, and the dollar lost 0.36 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.1800.