U.S. stocks slipped a bit at Monday's start, with the Standard & Poor's 500 retreating after a two-session surge, as Wall Street remained fixated on European efforts to restrain its debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5 points to 12,159. Caterpillar is up a percent this morning on an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,260. The Nasdaq Composite declined 3 points to 2,675. A good end to last week's market has some investors taking profits this morning. IBM, however, is lifting the Dow thanks to news from CNBC that Warren Buffett has invested $10 billion into the blue chip since March. Good news for Big Blue shareholders. Other techs are trading higher like Google, Corning, and Research in Motion. Corning was mentioned positively in Barrons. Salesforce.com is jumping 4% on an upgrade. Microsoft is modestly lower after having their estimates trimmed at Ticonderoga. The commodities are unchanged this morning. Molycorp is higher after getting hit last week following earnings. The company is out defending their earnings this morning. Petrobras is modestly lower following earnings. Through the first hour the averages held up only to sell back off. The financials are weak following their brethren in European. Bank of America is selling another stake in a Chinese bank to raise cash. Warren Buffett continues to like and buy Wells Fargo, but the stock is lower. Eaton Vance is lower on a downgrade. KKR is higher on a positive article in Barrons. Rival, Blackstone also looks good. On the earnings front, Lowes looks good trading up 3%. JC Penney and Dynegy are lower following earnings. Reynolds America is lower even though the company raised guidance and boosted their share buyback. The cigarette company likes Altria and Phillip Morris are doing great. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak on light volume. The financials remain the weakest sector as all eyes remain on Europe. Stocks that were strong earlier like IBM are now in the red. In the last hour the averages drifted off the lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 74 points at 12,078. The S&P 500 relinquished recently captured year-to-date gains to trade down 12 points, or 1%, at 1,251. Financials led losses shared by all 10 S&P 500 sectors. The Nasdaq Composite fell 21 points, or 0.8%, to 2,657. Quiet day.
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