Stocks Opened Lower on Weak Economic Reports

U.S. stocks dipped mildly in early trading on Monday after a report showed that US personal spending was weaker than expected, and that Spain’s economy has fallen into recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately slipped 27.02 points to 13,201.29. The S&P 500 retreated 6.73 points to 1,396.63. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 16.86 points to 3,052.34.

Americans pared back on spending in March after splurging in February and put away a little more cash in savings last month, according to the latest government data. Consumer spending climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month, while income rose slightly faster at 0.4%, mainly because of higher government-benefit payments, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Monday took negative ratings actions on 16 Spanish banks, in the wake of a double-notch downgrade for the country’s sovereign rating late last week.

Barnes & Noble Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are teaming up to create a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will house the digital and college businesses of the bookseller and include a Nook application for Windows 8. The companies said Monday that they are exploring separating those businesses entirely. Thatcould mean a stock offering, sale, or other deal could happen.

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL) again raised its fiscal-year earnings guidance on stronger-than-expected sales of “The Hunger Games” trilogy following the March release of the movie based on the books for young adults. For the period ending May 31, the children’s book publisher now expects per -share earnings will top $3.40, compared with its prior guidance of $2.60 to $2.90.

China’s consumer price index is likely to be lower than 3% this year, below Beijing’s official target of 4% inflation in 2012, a central bank adviser said Saturday.

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