updated 6/28/2005 8:25:05 AM ET 2005-06-28T12:25:05

Stocks finished Monday slightly lower, as Wall Street steadied itself after last week’s losses and waited for the Federal Reserve’s meeting on interest rates later this week. Fears that second-quarter earnings could disappoint also weighed on the market.

Major Market Indices

The Fed’s Open Market Committee is widely expected to raise rates for the ninth time in a year when it meets Wednesday and Thursday, but investors are waiting to see policymakers’ assessment of the economy, to be issued at the end of the meeting.

Until the Fed’s intentions are clear, investors are likely to do very little, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago. “Is this the ninth inning or are we going into extra innings?” he said.

Wall Street looked past record high oil prices. A barrel of crude oil climbed as high as $60.95 before closing at $60.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The increase came amid concerns that supplies would not meet demand, worries about refining capacity and news that Iran’s new president would be focusing on its domestic market instead of exports.

Analysts said prices could climb even higher, but for the moment, Wall Street didn’t seem particularly worried.

“The market seems to be shrugging off oil a little bit,” said Brian Gendreau, investment strategist at ING Investment Management. “Perhaps there’s a feeling that the selloff Friday was overdone.”

The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day down 7.06 points, or 0.1 percent, while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost 0.88 point, or 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq composite index, full of technology stocks, gave up 8.07 points, or 0.4 percent.

Another factor that may keep stocks nearly flat in coming sessions is that analysts have slightly lowered expectations for second-quarter earnings, Harris’ Jack Ablin said. This is the first quarter of the last six where expectations have fallen.

Several companies issued warnings Monday. International Paper Co. fell $1.02 cents to $31.43 after the company said second-quarter earnings would miss estimates because of weaker paper and packaging sales. And Cardinal Health Inc. fell $4.08 to $56.43 after the company said investments in research and development and infrastructure would push 2006 earnings well below estimates.

And athletic apparel maker Nike Inc. fell $3.58 to $85.77 after the company’s earnings rose at a lower rate in the fourth quarter than the previous three quarters. The company also did not offer a 2006 earnings outlook.

In Monday’s stock trading, some industries were strong, while others faltered. “It’s still a sector story,” Ablin said. “You’ve got very calm water, with a lot of stirring underneath the surface.”

Energy and utility stocks did well, thanks to increasing oil prices, but technology, health care and consumer staples lost ground, due to fears of an economic slow down.

TiVo Inc. rose 18 cents a share to $6.98 on news Vice Chairman Tom Rogers will replace Mike Ramsay as the company’s president and chief executive, beginning July 1. Rogers, the former chairman and CEO of media publisher Primedia Inc., joined TiVo in 1999 and became vice chairman of the board in October 2004. Ramsay, TiVo’s co-founder, announced plans to step down from his post in January after seven years in the position.

Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain, posted a 20 percent increase in third-quarter profits Monday, driven by strong generic drug sales and better margins in its digital photofinishing business. Its stock rose $1.47, to $45.85.

Morgan Stanley fell 7 cents to $53.05 as media reports said former top executive John Mack was close to returning to the beleaguered Wall Street firm as its new chief executive officer.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.1 percent. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.7 percent, Germany’s DAX index gave back 0.9 percent and France’s CAC-40 lost 1 percent.

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


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