Stocks Closed Lower for the Third Day

U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday, extending a slide in blue-chips to the third day,  as Spanish debt concerns mounted and investors traded cautiously ahead of earnings-season kickoff.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.18 points, or 0.28%, to 12,736.29. The S&P 500 fell 2.22 points, or 0.16%, to 1,352.46. The Nasdaq Composite lost 5.56 points, or 0.19%, to 2,931.77.

Alcoa reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street’s expectations on Monday. The company reported a net loss of $2 million, or 0 cents per share, compared to net income of $322 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 10 percent to $5.96 billion from $6.59 billion a year ago.

Spain will agree to create a single bad bank to house toxic assets from its banking sector, and all of the country’s banks will raise core capital to 9 percent, as conditions for up to 100 billion euros in European aid, a government source said on Monday.

President Barack Obama on Monday called for a one-year extension of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year. Obama said that 97% of small-business owners would benefit from his proposal.

A new law will let companies contribute billions of dollars less to their workers’ pension funds, raising concerns about weakening the plans that millions of Americans count on for retirement.

Crude-oil futures ended higher Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and the likely possibility of a lockout in Norway. Crude for August delivery added $1.54, or 1.8%, to settle at $85.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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