(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note amid fresh concerns about whether Spain will request a bailout from its eurozone partners.
The S&P 500 Index inched up 0.09 percent to finish at 1,445.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.24 percent to end at 13,482.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.21 percent to close at 3,120.04.
Spain's Economy Minister Luis De Guindos reportedly indicated that the country is still analyzing whether to seek a bailout. However, a Spanish news agency reported that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected a bailout. In an address to regional leaders of his party, Rajoy said the bailout request from Spain is not "imminent."
There were no major U.S. economic announcements scheduled to be released for the day.
The key economic numbers likely to be in focus in the coming week are indicators of labor market strength, including ADP's private sector employment report, the weekly jobless claims data and the Labor Department's non-farm payrolls data.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: EXPR, CMG, PCS, PETM, MOS, GM, F, FNP
In corporate news, Express Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) tumbled 22.19 percent after the apparel retailer reduced its third-quarter earnings forecast, citing an abrupt change in traffic and higher promotional activity.
MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE:PCS) jumped 17.80 percent after Germany's Deutsche Telekom said it is in discussions to merge its T-Mobile USA unit with the wireless broadband mobile communications provider.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) said U.S. sales for the month of September were flat with the same period of last year as discontinuation of the Ranger line offset stronger sales of F-series, E-series and Transit Connect vehicles. Shares declined 1.41 percent.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) posted a 1.5 percent rise in U.S. sales for the month of September, as a drop in truck sales offset a jump in car sales. Shares added 2.56 percent.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) shed 4.17 percent after hedge fund manager David Einhorn reportedly recommended shorting the stock.
Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS) shed 3.88 percent after the company posted a 22 percent drop in quarterly earnings as lower volumes and prices in phosphates resulted in a 19.4 percent decline in sales.
Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc. (NYSE:FNP) dropped 11.35 percent after the designer of fashion brands, including Kate Spade and Lucky Brand, reduced its EBITDA guidance for 2012 citing lower sales of its Juicy Couture brand.
Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP) cut its earnings outlook for the year, citing lower profitability at its Brainerd Minnesota facility and weakening demand in its economically sensitive industrial product categories. Shares fell 5.35 percent.
PetSmart Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM) rose 1.47 percent. The pet retailer will replace Sunoco Inc. (SUN) in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on Thursday, October 4.
European markets closed lower. Germany's DAX dropped 0.28 percent to close at 7,305.86. France's CAC40 fell 0.60 percent to finish at 3,414.23. U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.19 percent to end at 5,809.45.
Among Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.12 percent to end at 8,786.05. China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and India's BSE Sensex were closed for public holidays.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Crude oil futures dropped 0.82 percent to $91.72 per barrel, while natural gas futures added 1.29 percent to $3.525 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures edged 0.38 percent lower to $1,776.5 per ounce, and silver futures fell 0.86 percent to $34.65 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro added 0.24 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2921. The British pound inched up 0.04 percent against the greenback to 1.6138, while the dollar advanced 0.22 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.1600.