Telecoms lead stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks indexes were mostly lower on Monday, with telecommunication companies leading the way down.

AT&T Inc. fell the most out of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones industrial average. Its competitor, Verizon Wireless, is expected to announce Tuesday that it will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone, breaking AT&T’s long hold on iPhone customers.

AT&T’s stock dropped 1.8 percent to $28.34. Apple gained 1.9 percent to $342.45.

Stocks spent most of the day lower ahead of the latest round of corporate earnings reports.

The week started with news of two big corporate deals. DuPont, a major chemical company, said it would buy a Danish food maker for $5.8 billion. Duke Energy Corp. said it will buy Progress Energy Inc. in a $13 billion deal that would create one of the country’s largest utilities. Duke fell 1.2 percent to $17.58.

The Dow fell for the third day straight, losing 37.31 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 11,637.45.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 1.75, or 0.1 percent, to 1,269.75. The Nasdaq composite gained 4.63, or 0.2 percent, to 2,707.80.

Losses were spread across the market. Five of the 10 industry groups that make up the S&P 500 index fell. Telecommunications companies fell the most, 1 percent, followed by utilities and energy. 3M Co. led the 30 stocks that make up the Dow with a 1 percent gain.

The Nasdaq index posted small gains thanks in part to Apple and Netflix Inc., which jumped 4.8 percent. Playboy Enterprises Inc. soared 17 percent after agreeing to be taken private by a group of investors led by the company’s founder, Hugh Hefner.

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