U.S. stocks ended August on a down note, but it could have been worse.
The U.S. stock market began the day lower Monday after a steep plunge in Chinese stocks overnight, but the surprise was that the major U.S. indexes were only off by 1 percent or less by the close.
The Shanghai Composite plunged 6.7 percent on fears of worsening lending conditions in China, but other world markets held up well by comparison.
HP (NASDAQ: HPQ) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) even ended the day with small gains, following Intel’s surprisingly strong sales outlook on Friday.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) finished a fraction lower, while Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) benefited from a late-day upgrade. Satyam (NYSE: SAY) was up 21 percent on no apparent news.
AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Micron (NYSE: MU) lost 2.5 percent each despite a strong Semiconductor Industry Association report, while Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) was lower by 1.9 percent.
A number of mergers — including the acquisition of Marvel (NYSE: MVL) by Disney (NYSE: DIS) — provided some support for the market, as did a better than expected Midwest manufacturing reading.
Ciena (NASDAQ: CIEN) and ADC telecom (NASDAQ: ADCT) are among the tech names reporting earnings this week, but the biggest news will likely be Friday’s monthly employment report, which is expected to show another loss of more than 200,000 jobs.
The Nasdaq lost 19 to 2009, the S&P 500 fell 8 to 1020, and the Dow lost 47 to 9496. Volume declined to 5 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.3 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 27-10 margin on the NYSE, and 19-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 80 percent on the NYSE, and 59 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 70-33 on the NYSE, and 33-17 on the Nasdaq.