Stocks Begin on a Cautious Note

U.S. stocks began with modest losses on Monday, after a four-session rise, in the wake of a gauge of factory activity in the New York region that showed contraction in September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 25.11 points to 13,568.26. The S&P 500 index declined 3.73 points to 1,462.04. The Nasdaq Composite shed 11.48 points to 3,172.47.

Manufacturing in the New York region contracted more than forecast in September as orders shrank. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s economic index declined to negative 10.4 this month from negative 5.85 in August.

Apple Inc. said Monday that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 topped 2 million units in the first 24 hours after the company began taking orders for the smartphone.

Lowe’s said on Monday that it had withdrawn its $1.8 billion takeover bid for a Canadian counterpart, Rona, citing the home-improvement chain’s unwillingness to hold merger talks.Shortly after it was unveiled in July, Lowe’s offer of 14.50 Canadian dollars a share was rejected by Rona, prompting the American retailer to go hostile.

AT&T says it set a sales record for the iPhone 5, with customers ordering more of them than any previous iPhone model on the first day of preorders and over the weekend. The Dallas company said Monday that the iPhone 5 is still available for preorders online and will be available at its stores starting on Friday.

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