The retail sector got off to a dismal start last week after Wal-Mart, Macy's and Nordstrom cut their sales outlooks for the year. This week, J.C. Penney, Target, the Gap, Home Depot, Sears and others report quarterly earnings. The retail industry is often closely watched by investors because consumer spending makes up a large chunk of the U.S. economy.
Gap fell 53 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $42.59. Staples lost 43 cents, or 2.55 percent, to $16.41.
One bright spot in Monday's sea of red were technology stocks. Intel was biggest gainer in the 30-member Dow after getting an upgrade from PiperJaffray. The investment bank predicted strong sales for chips used in tablet computers and mobile devices. Intel rose 37 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $22.28.
Other major tech stocks also rose. Apple rose $5.41, or 1.1 percent, to $507.70 and Google rose $8.74, or 1 percent, to $865.60.
Among other stocks making big moves:
— Zillow said it was buying New York-focused real estate website StreetEasy for $50 million. Zillow dropped $6.48, or 7.1 percent, to $84.74.
— Dollar General rose $1.62, or 3.1 percent, to $54.09, the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral" and raised their price target to $64 from $51, citing signs that sales and profit margins were improving.
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