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US stocks lower despite GE deal

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks moved lower Monday, carrying negative momentum from last week's disappointing US jobs report, as General Electric topped the news with a $3.3 billion takeover of Lufkin Industries.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 48.00 points (0.33 percent) to 14,517.25.

The S&P 500 dropped 3.05 (0.20 percent) to 1,550.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 3.96 (0.12 percent) to 3,199.90.

Lufkin soared more than 38 percent to $88.36 on the news that General Electric would pay $88.50 a share for the manufacturer of oilfield pumping equipment, gear drives and iron castings.

GE shares dipped 0.1 percent.

But with no major new economic indicators, stocks continued to be propelled by Friday's disappointing jobs data showing that the US economy added only 88,000 nonfarm jobs in March, less than half the amount expected.

Markets will be carefully eying quarterly earnings season, which kicks off after today's close with a report from aluminum producer Alcoa, said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

"Participants will be listening keenly to company guidance and how it meshes -- or doesn't -- with weaker-than-expected economic data seen of late," O'Hare said.

"A wave of cautious-sounding guidance could prompt some more concerted selling interest given that many stocks have run sharply on the notion that growth momentum will be accelerating in coming months."

Obagi Medical Products, a pharmaceutical company, dropped 5.9 percent after privately-held Merz Pharma dropped its plan to buy the company after competing bidder Valeant Pharmaceuticals raised its offer. Valeant lost 0.4 percent.

Uni-Pixel, which produces films for touch-enabled devices, jumped 11.5 percent after announcing that it has found a partner, not identified, that will allow it to boost output.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.71 percent from 1.69 percent late Friday, while the 30-year rose to 2.88 percent from 2.86 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130408/us-stocks-lower-despite-ge-deal