S&P 500 posts worst day since November; McGraw-Hill shares sink
By Caroline Valetkevitch | February 5, 2013 8:35 AM EST
Socks slid on Monday, giving the S&P 500 its worst day since November, as renewed worries about the euro zone crisis caused the market to pull back from recent gains.
Shares of McGraw-Hill
"The market is extended and due for a pullback. I think people are looking for an excuse to make sales, and there (is) the concern coming from Europe," said Michael James, senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.
Spanish and Italian bond yields rose, renewing worries about the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis. Spain's prime minister faced calls to resign over a corruption scandal, while a probe of alleged misconduct involving an Italian bank was expected to widen three weeks before a national election.
Adding to market pressure, data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed overall factory orders for December were below economists' expectations.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 129.71 points, or 0.93 percent, at 13,880.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 17.46 points, or 1.15 percent, at 1,495.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 47.93 points, or 1.51 percent, at 3,131.17.
The benchmark S&P 500 rose on Friday, leaving it roughly 60 points away from its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09, while the Dow's march above 14,000 was the highest for the index since October 2007.
The S&P index remains up about 5 percent for the year, with nearly half of the gains coming after U.S. legislators temporarily sidestepped the "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.
The CBOE Volatility index VIX <.VIX>, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, jumped 13.7 percent.
Chevron dipped 1.1 percent to $115.20 after UBS cut its rating to neutral, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Shares of household products company Clorox
According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 256 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Monday morning, 68.4 percent have reported earnings above analyst expectations, compared with the 62 percent average since 1994 and the 65 percent average over the past four quarters.
S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings are expected to rise 4.4 percent, according to the data. That estimate is above the 1.9 percent forecast at the start of earnings season, but well below the 9.9 percent forecast on October 1.
Decliners outpaced advancers on the NYSE by nearly 4 to 1 and on the Nasdaq also by about 4 to 1.
(Editing by Kenneth Barry and Nick Zieminski)
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