Stocks Ended Lower in Light Trading

U.S. stocks ended slightly lower on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 21.73 points, or 0.16%, to close at 13,971.24. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.92 point, or 0.06%, to 1,517.01; and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.87 points, or 0.06%, to 3,192.00.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group recently approached Nasdaq OMX Group about taking the exchange operator private, but the talks fell apart over a disagreement on price, sources familiar with the deal said on Monday.

The much-anticipated merger between American Airlines parent AMR Group and US Airways Group is nearing the final stage, with much of the focus on who gets a chair in the boardroom.

In response to rapidly increasing demand for bourbon, Maker’s Mark announced it is reducing the amount of alcohol in the spirit to keep pace with consumer demand.

Gold futures settled below $1,650 an ounce Monday, at a five-week low, with analysts attributing the decline to reports of a coordinated effort to avert a currency war among the Group of Seven nations. Gold for April delivery slumped $17.80, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,649.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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