updated 2/10/2009 9:13:38 AM ET 2009-02-10T14:13:38

Stocks ended trading mixed Monday as investors grew nervous waiting for Washington to make the next move.

Major Market Indices

The market showed moderate losses late in the day as investors sought details of how the government will reshape a rescue plan for the financial industry. They’re also watching as political leaders scramble to put together an economic stimulus program.

Wall Street is awaiting a Tuesday speech by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlining President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul the government’s $700 billion financial bailout package passed by Congress last fall. Geithner had been scheduled to announce the plan Monday, but the White House pushed back the speech to focus on the stimulus bill.

“The delay in the Geithner announcement means the markets are going to have to wait another 24 hours, and markets don’t wait very well,” said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Investments.

The Senate is expected to pass an $827 billion economic stimulus bill on Tuesday. The government, however, still faces the challenge of reconciling the Senate bill with the House’s $819 billion version that passed earlier. Republicans and Democrats have been at odds over the plan, which is designed to help pull the economy out of the worst recession in decades. The Obama administration is still pressing to have the stimulus measure on the president’s desk for signing by the middle of this month.

Stocks fell as investors grew nervous over whether the plans would be enough to revive the economy.

“We saw a lot of buying ahead of the announcements,” said Chris Johnson, president of Johnson Research Group. “Investors are simply biding their time to see if those expectations are going to be met.”

Preliminary closing figures showed the Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.72, or 0.12 percent, to 8,270.27.

Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.29, or 0.15 percent, to 869.89, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 0.15, or 0.01 percent, to 1,591.56.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 2.76, or 0.59 percent, to 467.94.

Gainers outnumbered losers by about 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a light 1.26 billion shares.

On Friday, the market largely overlooked a horrible jobs report and rallied in anticipation of the stimulus bill. The Labor Department said U.S. employers slashed 598,000 jobs in January. That left the unemployment rate at 7.6 percent, the highest level since late 1992.

The Dow industrials ended last week up 3.5 percent, the S&P 500 index rose 5.2 percent and the Nasdaq posted a huge 7.8 percent gain.

“Given that we had a good two-day rally and a strong performance last week, it’s not surprising that we would see some softness,” said Gayle. “There is a tug of war between the problems that we know are in front of us and the promise that is expected between the bank rescue package and the stimulus plan.”

Bond prices fell Monday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.04 percent from 2.99 percent late Friday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, rose to 0.29 percent from 0.27 percent late Friday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies. Gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude slipped 27 cents to $39.90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange as investors placed bets that increased spending by Washington would increase economic activity and drive up demand for oil.

Amid the anticipation over the government’s plans there were stark reminders that an economic recovery is still far off.

Nissan Motor Co. said it will slash 20,000 jobs, or 8.5 percent of its global work force, over the next year to cope with what the Japanese automaker expects will be its first annual loss in nine years.

Home appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. said fourth-quarter profit dropped 77 percent, hurt by a restructuring charge, a recall expense and the stronger dollar. The stock fell 24 cents to $36.15.

Meanwhile, Barclays PLC warned that further asset write-downs — on top of the massive $11.9 billion booked for 2008 — were likely and said executive directors would not be getting any bonuses. However, Britain’s third-largest bank by assets said its 2008 net profit fell only 1 percent, boosted by last September’s acquisition of part of failed investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

General Motors Corp. is in talks to take back portions of its former parts supplier Delphi Corp., a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. GM is trying to qualify for more government assistance. The automaker is expected to announce multiple plant closures on or before the Treasury Department’s Feb. 17 deadline for the viability plan. GM rose 2 cents to $2.86.

Investors cheered some corporate news.

Homebuilder Beazer Homes USA Inc. rose 20 cents, or 20 percent, to $1.20 after reporting that its loss narrowed during its fiscal first quarter even as revenue fell from lower home closings. New orders also dropped.

McDonald’s Corp. reported a 7.1 percent worldwide increase in January same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year. The nation’s No. 1 hamburger chain has been posting strong sales as the global economic downturn is making more consumers eager to save money. McDonald’s rose 34 cents to $58.80.

Financial stocks rose ahead of the latest version of the Treasury Department financial rescue plan. Bank of America Corp. rose 82 cents, or 13 percent, to $6.95, while Citigroup Inc. rose 11 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $4.02. General Electric Co., which has a big finance division, rose $1.55, or 14 percent, to $12.65.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average dropped 1.33 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.37 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 0.48 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.39 percent.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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