U.S. stocks closed lower Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly dropping 100 points in afternoon trading, as investors tried to shake off fears of Greece's ongoing debt crisis. Monday's losses were tied to oil and gas stocks, with the S&P 500 energy sector dropping 2 percent as Noble Energy Inc. fell 6 percent.
The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 85.94 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 18,105. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 10.77 points, or 0.51 percent, to end at 2,105. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 9.98 points, or 0.20 percent, to finish at 4,994.
Tensions eased Monday after Greece paid 750 million euros ($836 million) to the International Monetary Fund ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, two Greek finance ministry officials told Reuters. However, creditors still fear the country is close to running out of cash and defaulting on its debt.
“Greece is currently more of a psychological burden for investors, rather than a financial one,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “Certainly, as far as the banks and investors are concerned, the Greek debt crisis doesn’t have nearly the impact as it would have two years ago. But it does point to some frailty around the edges in the eurozone.”
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker, was the largest gainer in the Dow, adding 1.7 percent to close at $88.77 after Baird boosted its 12-month stock price target on the company to $101 from $80.
Rosetta Resources Inc. (NASDAQ:ROSE) soared 27 percent Monday after rival Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) announced it is buying the energy producer in an all-stock transaction, valued at $2.1 billion. Noble Energy's stock price dropped 6 percent to close at $46.07.
Meanwhile, shares of Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ:ETSY) tumbled 8 percent Monday after analysts downgraded shares of the online crafts marketplace, warning that the company is facing a problem with counterfeit goods offered on its network.
Oil prices were slightly lower Monday as the U.S. dollar strengthened against major world currencies. West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, dipped 0.4 percent to $59.25 a barrel, for June 15 delivery, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, lost 40 cents to $65 a barrel, for June 15 delivery, on the London ICE Futures Exchange.