S&P, Nasdaq Ended Lower for Third Month Straight

U.S. stocks ended lower on Monday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite logged their third consecutive monthly declines, finishing February down 0.4% and 1.2% respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 123.47 points, or 0.74%, to 16,516.50, but eked out a monthly gain, finishing 0.3% higher over the month. The S&P 500 closed 15.82 points, or 0.81%, lower at 1,932.23. The Nasdaq Composite ended the day down 32.52 points, or 0.71%, at 4,557.95.

Median household income, adjusted for inflation, is now higher than it was before the recession that began at the end of 2007, according to new data published by Sentier Research. The typical family earned $57,153 in December, which is 4.3% higher than a year earlier and nearly 1% higher than December 2007.

Oil futures settled higher Monday. April West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $33.75 a barrel, up 97 cents, or 3%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April Brent crude, which expired at the settlement on London’s ICE Futures exchange, tacked on 87 cents, or 2.5%, to $35.97 a barrel.

Lumber Liquidators, the largest U.S. hardwood-flooring specialty retailer, reported another rough quarter of financial results Monday. Sales at stores open at least a year dropped 17.2 percent for the three- month period that ended Dec. 31. Revenue came in $20 million short of analysts’ projections, with net sales totaling $234.8 million.

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