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Wall Street dips after German data, energy declinesUS-MARKETS-STOCKS:Wall Street dips after German data, energy declines
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell modestly on Monday after disappointing German data added to concerns the prospects for the global economic growth remain weak.
German business sentiment slipped for a fifth consecutive month in September, showing Europe's strongest economy was moving closer toward recession as the euro zone continues to struggle with its debt crisis.
Concerns about a stalling global economy were reflected in energy-related shares as the PHLX oil service sector index <.OSX> shed 1.5 percent to go with a 1.6 percent drop in U.S. crude oil. Global demand worries sent crude prices down more than 6 percent last week.
The S&P 500 had risen nearly 6 percent from the start of August through mid-September on expectations of central bank stimulus. On September 6, the ECB announced its bond-buying plan, and a week later, the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing intended to bolster the economy and reduce U.S. unemployment.
Normally after such a rally, the market would pull back. But the central bank actions have served to buoy stock prices and prevent a market pullback despite concerns about the global economy. The S&P 500 has been unable to muster a move of more than 0.4 percent in either direction since the Fed's announcement.
"You've got the Bernanke put on the market and the market is just hanging in there when there are a lot of reasons why (it) just should not be," said Brian Amidei, managing director at HighTower Advisors in Palm Desert, California.
"All signs tell us - including with the fiscal cliff hanging over our head - that there is going to be a massive slowdown in GDP and yet the market is not doing anything."
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 36.54 points, or 0.27 percent, at 13,542.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 5.87 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,454.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 26.96 points, or 0.85 percent, at 3,153.00.
Apple Inc <AAPL.O>, down 2.1 percent to $686.24, was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq 100 index <.NDX> even as its latest iPhone sold out. Concerns arose that the company was unable to produce the new phone quickly enough to meet demand.
Homebuilder Lennar Corp <LEN.N> reported steep increases in its third-quarter earnings and revenue, while orders rose 44 percent. Despite the solid results, Lennar's stock slid 2.7 percent to $36.49.
Lennar's results follow a similarly strong report from KB Home <KBH.N> and together indicate the housing market is moving toward recovery.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc <QCOR.O> plummeted 33.2 percent to $20.13 after it said it was being investigated by a U.S. government agency over its promotional practices.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc <PPHM.O> plunged 76.6 percent to $1.26 as the Nasdaq's most actively traded stock after the company said it found major discrepancies in results from a mid-stage study of its experimental lung cancer drug conducted by a third-party contractor.
Veeco Instruments Inc <VECO.O> slumped 11.2 percent to $31.04 after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the chip-equipment maker to "sell" and reduced its price target to $27 from $30 per share. The PHLX semiconductor index <.SOX> lost 1.7 percent.
(Editing by Jan Paschal and Dan Grebler)
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