U.S. stocks fell, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose to within a point of its record high, amid concern Cyprus’s bank-restructuring plan will pave the way for losses on deposits in other European nations.
Industrial shares retreated as Textron Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. lost at least 1 percent. BlackBerry slumped 4.6 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered its rating on the stock. Dell Inc. climbed 2.6 percent after saying Blackstone Group LP and activist investor Carl Icahn have submitted proposals to buy the maker of personal computers.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 1,551.69 at 4 p.m. in New York, after rallying as much as 0.5 percent earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 64.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,447.75. About 5.9 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges today, 6.1 percent below the three-month average.
“We’re in an environment where in both North America and Europe we have some serious policy decisions that have to take place,” Ron Florance, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank, which has $169 billion assets under management, said in a phone interview. “When a policy misstep is bad it’s real bad, and the discussions last week were really bad decisions. That’s been resolved, but it always puts people on edge.”
Equities rallied early in the day as Cyprus, the euro- area’s third-smallest economy, met the terms for a 10 billion- euro ($13 billion) bailout after agreeing early this morning in Brussels to shrink its banking system. The finance ministers from the 17-member euro area ratified the country’s accord with the troika of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.
Stocks turned lower as Reuters reported that Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the Cyprus bailout should be viewed as a template for solving banking problems in the region. Dijsselbloem later released a statement clarifying his remarks, saying Cyprus is a “specific case with exceptional challenges” which required the measures agreed upon.
The S&P 500 declined 0.2 percent last week for its second weekly drop as Cyprus struggled to raise enough money to obtain the bailout and a report showed euro-area manufacturing contracted more than expected. The gauge has still climbed 8.8 percent in 2013, and advanced today within a point of its record of 1,565.15 set in October 2007, before erasing gains. The Dow reached an intraday high last week after first surpassing its all-time record on March 5.
“Moving through the old high is likely to require some strong positive news. Cyprus was just not the catalyst to drive this market higher,” Alan Gayle, senior strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management, said in a phone interview. The Richmond, Virgina-based firm oversees about $48 billion.
The bull market in equities entered its fifth year this month as the S&P 500 more than doubled from its bottom in 2009, driven by an unprecedented three rounds of bond purchases by the Federal Reserve.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today that low interest rates in advanced nations benefit the world economy while not creating a disruptive diversion of trade through weaker currencies. New York Fed President William Dudley said in a speech in New York that he sees the U.S. labor market improving slowing, warranting a continuation of “very accommodative” policy.
Industrial and raw-material shares fell at least 0.7 percent, as all 10 S&P 500 groups declined. Textron stumbled 3.5 percent to $29.69, while Caterpillar slumped 1 percent to $86.64. FedEx Corp. slid 1.5 percent to $97.02.
BlackBerry (BBRY), formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., tumbled 4.6 percent to $14.23. Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating on the Canadian smartphone maker to neutral from buy, citing a disappointing debut for the company’s Z10 phone in the U.S. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. analyst Jim Suva also said today the BlackBerry 10 introduction at AT&T Inc. was a “disappointment.”
Red Hat Inc., the largest seller of Linux operating system software, dropped 3.6 percent to $48.99. Raymond James & Associates Inc. equity analyst Michael Turits cut his rating on the Raleigh, North Carolina-based company to market perform from outperform, noting increasing risk of Linux growth deceleration as well as challenges among license sales.
Apollo surged 7.1 percent to $18.25 as second-quarter profit and sales topped analysts’ estimates, even as enrollment fell. Apollo’s profit was driven by the higher-than-expected revenue combined with “slightly better cost controls,” Jeffrey Silber, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets Corp., said today in a note to investors.
Dell (DELL) gained 2.6 percent to $14.51. Blackstone, the world’s biggest private-equity firm, outlined an offer valued at more than $14.25 a share, while Icahn said he would pay $15 a share in cash, Dell said today.
Best Buy Co. added 1.8 percent to $23.20. Founder Richard Schulze will return to the company as chairman emeritus after failing in a six-month attempt to take over the electronics retailer he started more than four decades ago.
Visa Inc. rose 2.4 percent to a record $164. Nomura Holdings Inc. said a long-term global shift away from cash would help the bank-card network at Western Union Co.’s expense. Western Union, the world’s largest money-transfer business, added 0.1 percent to $14.66, erasing an earlier loss of as much as 1 percent.
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