The Dow Jones industrial average fell 48 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,457 in morning trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5, or 0.4 percent, to 1,333. The Nasdaq composite fell 3, or 0.1 percent, to 2,817.
Stocks fell broadly. Technology companies were the only one of the 10 company groups that make up the S&P index to edge higher. Traders said rising commodity costs were making investors cautious.
“It’s becoming harder to become overly exuberant over backwards-looking earnings when it’s clear that consumers’ pocketbooks are getting squeezed over higher gasoline costs,” said Paul Zemsky, a market strategist at ING Investment Management. “Given that we’re near the … highs for the year, we’re certainly not adding to our (stock) positions until we get a sense of what these oil prices mean to the consumer.”
Johnson Controls Inc. fell 3.5 percent after the auto parts supplier said it expects revenue to drop by $500 million in the third quarter due to the earthquake in Japan.
Kimberly-Clark Corp., the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, lost 3.5 percent after missing earnings estimates. The company also lowered its earnings forecast for the full year. The company said that it plans to raise prices to offset higher costs.
Precious metals rose. Silver futures gained nearly 1 percent to $46.50 an ounce, while gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,506 an ounce.
Monday is light on economic data. Home sales rose more than expected in March to 300,000. That’s still less than half of the 700,000-a-year pace that economists consider healthy.
Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola, and Exxon-Mobil are among the companies reporting earnings this week. Movie rental company Netflix Inc. will release earnings after the market closes.