U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday, dragged lower by financial shares on concern there could be more credit losses and while record oil prices topped $143 a barrel.
Stocks lowered from last week as oil topped $140, placing the Dow industrials on track for its worst month of June since the Great Depression while some of the largest money managers say the losses may have more in common with the 1974 bear market before the worst is over.
As of 10:32 a.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.37 points, or 0.13 percent to 11362.72, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.74 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1283.12 and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.59 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2314.04.
Wall Street is on target to post one of its worst months in memory when the closing bell brings on Monday. June's point decline would be the worst since August 1998, according to Thomson Reuters. It would also be the worst June since 1930, according to Dow Jones.
MBIA Inc, the bond insurer, posted double-digit percentage declines after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has been selling municipal bonds to raise cash. Citing an anonymous source, the newspaper said MBIA recently sold at least $500 million worth of municipal bonds, bringing in a profit.
Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Dick Bove cut its 2008 and 2009 profit estimates for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, bringing the companies shares down. Morgan Stanley was recently down 1.06 percent at $36.31 while
In earnings news, tax-preparation firm H&R Block Inc. swung to fourth-quarter consolidated net earnings of $543.6 million, or $1.66 a share, compared to a net loss of $85.6 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose 11 percent to $2.6 billion.