Stocks Flat After Six Weeks of Increases, Interrupted by Europe
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock indices halted their ascent Monday as doubts arose about whether the European Central Bank will step in to stabilize the eurozone's sovereign debt markets.
Investors betting on intervention flinched after the ECB characterized a report in German magazine Der Spiegel about a plan for the central bank to cap government bond yields in troubled eurozone countries such as Spain and Italy as "misleading."
Germany's Bundesbank also threw cold water on the idea of an ECB bond-buying program, saying it "holds to the opinion that government bond purchases by the Eurosystem are to be seen critically and entail significant stability risks."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4 points to 13,272, trading in a range of less than 50 points on the day. The blue-chip index started the session up 8.7% so far in 2012 and is riding a six-week streak of gains.
Shares of HP closed up 3% with the PC and printer giant's fiscal third-quarter report due after Wednesday's closing bell. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of 98 cents a share on revenue of $30.1 billion in the May-to-July period.
Apple(AAPL) was a standout gainer, surging 2.6% to a new all-time high as excitement builds for the expected launch of the iPhone 5 next month. The session's peak is $664.75, and its market value has swelled above $619 billion, allowing it to claim the title of the most valuable company of all time.