Stocks Cap Worst Month for 2012

U.S. stocks on Monday settled mostly lower for April after data showed Americans only modestly increased spending and Spain slipped into recession. The Dow fell 14.68 points, or 0.11%, to end at 13,213.63. The S&P 500 Index fell 5.45 points, or 0.39%, to 1,397.91, down 0.8% for April after four consecutive months of gains. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 22.84 points, or 0.74%, to 3,046.36, down 0.8% for April, its first monthly loss in four.

Consumer spending climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, while income rose slightly faster at 0.4%, mainly because of higher government-benefit payments, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Spain’s Central Bank is consulting with international bankers and property experts on setting up a holding company to value and sell off toxic real estate assets from the country’s troubled financial sector, two sources said on Monday.

Monster Beverage Corp.’s shares soared in trading Monday on a report that Coca-Cola Co. is considering buying the energy drink maker.  The world’s biggest soft drink maker is in talks to buy Monster, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal that cites unnamed people familiar with the matter. If it happens, the deal would be Coca-Cola’s largest brand acquisition ever, according to the report.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:APC) , citing a $1.8 billion tax settlement with Algeria, reported late Monday its first-quarter 2012 profit rose to $2.16 billion, or $4.28 cents a share, from $216 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago.

Crude futures edged lower Monday, taking a breather after a four-session winning streak but tallying monthly gains of nearly 2%. Crude for June delivery (NMN:CLM2)  fell 6 cents, or 0.1%, at $104.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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