(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed in red as investors eyed a key meeting of the finance ministers of the eurozone and the third-quarter earnings season that kicks off on Tuesday.
The S&P 500 Index slid 0.35 percent to finish at 1,455.88. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.20 percent to end at 13,583.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.76 percent to close at 3,112.35.
Also contributing to the weakness was a report that the World Bank cut its growth estimate for China to 7.7 percent this year from a earlier estimate of 8.2 percent and from 9.3 percent in 2011.
In European news, euro-zone ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to address the region's debt crisis, with focus on finances of Greece and Spain. Concerns persist as to whether Spain will seek a bailout package after Prime Minister Mariyano Rajoy had dismissed rumors of a financial rescue in the near term.
Meanwhile, bellwether Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reports its quarterly earnings after the market closes tomorrow, with the aluminum giant expected to post a drop in earnings and sales.
There were no U.S. economic data on tap for Monday.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AAPL, NFLX, VRNG, NAV, GDOT, AFFX, PRGS, TPCG, OCLR, CGI
In corporate news, Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped 10.46 percent after a Morgan Stanley analyst upgraded shares of the online movie streaming company, saying the Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) video service is not a direct threat to Netflix's U.S. business.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) declined as much as 2.4 percent and fell further below its 50-day moving average.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) announced the launch of Bluebird, an alternative to debit and checking accounts designed to help consumers better manage their everyday finances. The announcement sent shares of Green Dot Corp. (NYSE:GDOT), a provider of prepaid debit cards, plunging 16.4 percent. Green Dot gets most of its revenue from Wal-Mart.
Vringo Inc. (NYSEAMEX:VRNG) surged 19.38 percent. Maxim raised its price target on the stock to $10 from $6.50, saying the company now has $50 million in net cash and is well positioned to enter negotiations with Google (GOOG).
Navistar International Corp. (NYSE:NAV) added 7.64 percent after the truck and engine maker agreed to appoint three new members to its board, thus averting a proxy war with activist investor Carl Icahn's Icahn Enterprises (IEP).
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) retreated 2.44 percent after BTIG downgraded the stock to "Sell".
Progress Software Corp. (NASDAQ:PRGS) dropped 13.78 percent after the company said Chief Executive Officer Jay Bhatt will step down and that it may experience some slippage in revenue growth in the fourth quarter due to the CEO transition.
Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) tumbled 13.92 percent after the developer of systems for genetic analysis forecast revenue for the third quarter below market expectations saying its gene expression and eBioscience business units were hit by a tightening academic funding environment worldwide.
TPC Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TPCG) jumped 12.81 percent after the Houston, Texas-based chemicals company said it has received a non-binding proposal to be acquired by Innospec Inc. (NASDAQ:IOSP) for $44 to $46 per share in cash, higher than a proposal made by First Reserve Corp. and SK Capital Partners.
Celadon Group Inc. (NYSE:CGI), a dry van truckload carrier, said it expects first-quarter results to exceed the published analysts' average consensus estimates. Shares climbed 9.84 percent.
Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ:OCLR) shed 9.89 percent after provider of optical network components announced preliminary first-quarter revenue that were lower than expected.
European markets ended lower, with Germany's DAX down 1.44 percent to close at 7,291.21. France's CAC40 fell 1.46 percent to finish at 3,406.53. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.50 percent to end at 5,841.74.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index retreated 0.56 percent to end at 2,074.42. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.89 percent to close at 20,824.56. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,708.98, down 1.21 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 was shut for a public holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures declined 0.16 percent to $89.47 per barrel, while natural gas futures inched up 0.15 percent to $3.401 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures fell 0.19 percent to $1,777.5 per ounce and silver futures tumbled 1.50 percent to $34.055 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro slid 0.53 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2971. The British pound retreated 0.66 percent against the greenback to 1.6031, and the dollar shed 0.42 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.3400.