New York: Stocks’ gains again evaporated in late-session selling but buyouts remained brisk and sent Ventana Medical Systems and Huntsman surging while Lennar dropped after launching second-quarter earnings season for homebuilders with a loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 14.39 points, or 0.1%, to 13,337.66, after being up as much as 100.47. The market’s ongoing late-session loss of sea legs has taken a toll. As of the close last Tuesday the Dow was carrying a small advance for the month and it is now showing a 2.1% drop for June.
If the industrial average cannot rally by Friday, 29 June, it will mark only its second losing month for the year. The other was in February.
But the Dow would be keeping with a trend, posting its third down June in a row. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 4.85 points, or 0.3%, to 1,492.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 2.92 points, or 0.1%, to 2,574.16. The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index declined 32.89, or 0.3%, to 9,774.29.
Investors appear to be a bit entrenched in their habits, one strategist said.
“The subprime issues are really preoccupying this market and as the day wears on investors are losing their nerve and selling into the close,” said David Joy, chief market strategist at RiverSource Investments.
But buyouts continue serving up big moves and Ventana Medical Systems offered one of the largest, rising 24.69, or 48%, to 76.43, the Nasdaq’s best percentage gainer by far.
Saying it wants to broaden its range of diagnostic products, Roche Holding AG made a $3 billion tender offer for the medical equipment maker.
Huntsman was the NYSE’s best percentage advancer with a lift of 5.31, or 28%, to 24.21. The chemical maker agreed to be acquired by Dutch rival Basell Polyolefins for $5.6 billion.
Fellow chemical maker Lyondell Chemical, seen as having the prospect of some sort of linkup with Basell before the announcement, fell 1.73, or 4.6%, to 35.76. Lennar lost 1.20, or 3.1%, to 37.55. The first major homebuilder to report second-quarter results said it swung to a loss, a nd continues seeing “weak and perhaps deteriorating” market conditions.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 1.74 billion shares. Down volume beat up by 1.17 billion to 534 million, and stocks that fell in value exceeded those that rose, 2,091 to 1,191.