Stocks Finish Mixed After European Elections
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks barely budged Monday as Wall Street reacted with restraint to the shifting political landscape in Europe following weekend elections in France and Greece.
The subdued response implies that investor worries about efforts to instill austerity in the eurozone as well as long-term questions about the overall stability of the single-currency bloc were already priced in to a large extent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 30 points, or 0.23%, to finish at 13,008.53. The blue-chip index sank as low as 12,970 earlier in the session.
Breadth within the Dow finished mildly negative with 17 of the index's 30 components moving lower. The biggest percentage losers among the blue chips were Caterpillar(CAT) , Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) , Home Depot (HD) and Microsoft(MSFT) . Bank of America (BAC) was the biggest percentage gainer, rising 2.8%.
Walt Disney (DIS) was also a standout on the upside, gaining 2.1% after The Avengers enjoyed tremendous success at the box office, raking in a record $200.3 million in North America during its opening weekend. The company is due to report its fiscal second-quarter results after Tuesday's closing bell.
Shares of Intel(INTC) , which announced a 7% increase in its quarterly dividend payout before the opening bell, were ticked down 0.5%.
In the broader market, winners narrowly outpacing losers on the New York Stock Exchange , while gainers were slightly ahead of decliners on the Nasdaq.
On Sunday, Greek voters punished mainstream politicians and voted in favor of a far-right group for Parliament. With the country now in political gridlock and its ability to form a coalition government in doubt, questions have reignited over Greece's ability to carry out the strict reforms and cutbacks required for its crucial international bailout and future with the euro.
Without any relief to the deadlock, Greece may be faced with repeat elections under a caretaker government in mid-June. Around this time, Athens was supposed to be in the process of pushing through a new austerity package worth €14.5 billion ($19 billion) for 2013 to 2014.
During that month, Greece was also scheduled for a € 30 billion ($39.4 billion) installment of aid from other eurozone nations and International Monetary Fund.
Meanwhile, Francois Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential election by about four percentage points on Sunday.
The election had turned into a referendum on austerity measures championed by Sarkozy and his close partner, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as they sought to lead the eurozone out of its debt crisis.
Merkel has already invited Hollande to Berlin for his first official visit as France's president after his inauguration on May 15. Merkel cautioned though against any expectations that the austerity measures and the fiscal compact that European leaders have agreed upon will be undergoing renegotiation.