* UnitedHealth rises, to buy 90 pct stake in Brazil's Amil
* Foxconn denies plant strike report; Apple shares down
* TPC Group gets higher buyout offer from Innospec
* Indexes off: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 8 U.S. stocks declined on Monday
after the World Bank cut growth forecasts for East Asia,
highlighting concerns about the global economic climate and
corporate profits on the cusp of the quarterly earnings season.
The World Bank reduced its growth forecasts for the East
Asia and Pacific region and said there was a risk the slowdown
in China could worsen and last longer than many analysts have
China, the world's second largest economy, has been hampered
by the euro zone debt crisis. Europe is China's largest trade
"There is just a lot of uncertainty out there, so any little
thing right now tends to be a bit of a drag. Some of it is
China, some of it may be concerns about Europe again," said
Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook
Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
The third-quarter earnings season will kick off on Tuesday
with results from Dow component Alcoa Inc. Analysts
expect Alcoa to report a break-even quarter, down from a profit
of 15 cents per share a year earlier, according to Thomson
Reuters data. Alcoa shares rose 0.8 to $9.16.
Recent earnings warnings from large multinationals such as
FedEx Corp, Caterpillar Inc and Hewlett-Packard
Co, which have cited weakness in Europe and China, have
made investors cautious about corporate profits.
"Certainly there has been a lot of downward revisions in
earnings in general. Some people are predicting that we may see
an overall decline in earnings, so there may be some defensive
posturing and profit-taking," Jankovskis said.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Friday, 91
companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 have issued
negative outlooks versus 21 positive preannouncements, for a
ratio of 4.3, the weakest showing since the third quarter of
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 43.47
points, or 0.32 percent, to 13,566.68. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index lost 6.71 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,454.22. The
Nasdaq Composite Index fell 22.79 points, or 0.73
percent, to 3,113.39.
There are no economic events or S&P 500 companies scheduled
to report earnings on Monday, and trading is expected to be
light due to the Columbus Day holiday.
Apple Inc shares shed 1 percent to $646.19 and was
the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100
indexes after China Labor Watch, a rights advocate group, said
that a Foxconn plant in China that makes Apple's iPhone was
crippled by a strike. Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, denied the
UnitedHealth Group shares gained 1.3 percent to
$57.89, helping to curb losses on the Dow, after the health
insurer said it would buy a 90 percent stake in Amil
Participacoes SA, Brazil's largest healthcare
company, for about $4.9 billion.
Chemicals maker TPC Group Inc said it received a
buyout proposal from Innospec Inc for $721.3 million,
topping an offer made by private equity firms First Reserve Corp
and SK Capital Partners. TPC shares jumped 11.1 percent to
$45.20 while Innospec shed 0.6 percent to $34.15..
Wal-Mart Stores Inc and American Express Co
said they are teaming up to offer shoppers without traditional
bank accounts a prepaid card that allows deposits via smartphone
and mobile bill-paying. The card, called Bluebird, will have no
minimum balance or monthly, annual or overdraft fees.
Wal-Mart shares advanced 0.3 percent to $75.35, and American
Express edged up 0.09 percent to $58.61.
Shares of prepaid card providers tumbled, with Green Dot
Corp down 20 percent to $10.28 and Netspend Holdings
Inc off 6.8 percent to $10.02.
Shares of Renewable Energy Group Inc slumped 18.5
percent to $5.80 after the biodiesel company said it would post
an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization for the third quarter, versus its prior outlook for
an adjusted profit.