U.S. stocks began in a modest retreat Monday after capping off another winning week that brought the S&P 500 index within reach of a four-year high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 points to 13,252. The S&P 500 declined 2 points to 1,415. The Nasdaq Composite shed 5 points to 3,070. A quiet start once again. So far August is working out perfectly for anyone looking to get away without worrying about the market. The diamond of the day is HMO, Coventry Health up 18% after agreeing to be acquired by Aetna. Aetna is higher by 4% as well. A win-win so far. The rest of the healthcare space is quiet. In the retail space, Lowes is getting hit following disappointing earnings. Lowes struggles while Home Depot continues to shine. Best Buy is lower by 7% after announcing a new CEO. Investors are disappointed with the news anticipating a buyout from the original CEO and founder. Waste Management is lower on cautious comments in Barrons. Gap is lower even though it was upgraded. AnnTaylor is higher by 2% on an upgrade. In the tech space, Apple keeps pushing higher. That's a good sign. Microsoft and Oracle are unchanged on upgrades. Facebook was upgraded, but the stock remains near its' 52 week low. In the financial space JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Hartford are modestly higher, but that's about it. Through the first hour and the rest of the morning, the averages remained in the red, but not by much. A few stocks are performing well. In the tech space, Apple looks great. HP and Dell are higher ahead of earnings this week. In the financial space Hartford, JP Morgan, and Goldman look good. In the energy space Hess is higher by a percent and a half. In the consumer discretionary space, McDonalds is higher, but the rest of the sector is in the red. Quiet morning. In the afternoon more of the same. The financials are perking up. Apple keeps pushing higher, rising 2.6% to a new 52 week high. Apple's market cap surpassed the record market cap of $623 billion set by Microsoft over 12 years ago. In the last hour the averages gravitated back to the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 3 points to 13,271, with American Express posting the biggest decline in the blue-chip index. The S&P 500 index finished virtually unchanged at 1,418, compared with 1,418. The Nasdaq Composite slipped less than a point to 3,076.
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