* Apple shares reverse course; down more than 1 pct
* Barclays cuts year-end target for S&P 500
* Volume seen light on Veterans Day with bond market closed
* Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq down 0.2 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Nov 12 U.S. stocks fell on Monday,
extending their losses after suffering the worst weekly decline
in five months, as lingering worries about the upcoming debate
on the fiscal cliff weighed on investor sentiment.
Adding to concerns, Barclays cut its year-end target for the
S&P 500 to 1,325 and cited fiscal cliff issues as a reason.
Apple shares, which had been higher in early
morning trade, reversed course to trade down more than 1
percent, weighing heavily on all three major U.S. stock indexes.
The S&P 500 dropped 2.4 percent last week, the worst week
for the benchmark index since June. It closed below its 200-day
moving average for the first time in five months, and an
extended run under that level could signal further losses ahead.
Trading volume is expected to be light, with the U.S. bond
market and government offices closed on Monday for the Veterans
Last week's weakness was partly propelled by concerns about
whether there will be a timely solution to avoid the fiscal
cliff, a combination of government spending cuts and tax
increases set to go into effect early next year unless Congress
acts to change the law before then. Though most consider it
unlikely that a deal will not be reached, analysts fear going
over the cliff could push the economy back into recession.
"The markets don't like uncertainty and while the election
is over, investors must still deal with the fiscal cliff, the
debt ceiling and the unpredictable situation in Europe," said
Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and
derivatives at Charles Schwab, in Austin, Texas.
"But, keep in mind, the markets are clearly oversold in the
short-term and even a hint of resolution on any of these issues
could spark a nice bounce," he said.
The S&P 500 is still up about 10 percent for 2012, though
recent months have eroded those gains. The Nasdaq has fallen for
five straight weeks.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26.12
points, or 0.20 percent, at 12,789.27. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 2.44 points, or 0.18 percent, at 1,377.41.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 6.15 points, or 0.21
percent, at 2,898.73.
Apple Inc shares fell 1.3 percent to $540.20 after rising
earlier on a global patent settlement with HTC Corp,
as well as a 10-year licensing agreement. Apple's stock has been
under pressure recently, dropping more than 20 percent from its
2012 high to enter bear market territory.
But some major acquisition news gave investors some reasons
for optimism on Monday. Precision Castparts Corp offered
to buy Titanium Metals Corp for $2.9 billion, while
Leucadia National Corp agreed to buy investment bank
Jefferies Group for $3.6 billion.
Shares of Titanium surged 42.3 percent to $16.46 while
Jefferies climbed 12.8 percent to $16.09. Precision rose 5.6
percent to $181. In contrast, Leucadia fell 4.6 percent to
Overseas, a report over the weekend showed China's export
growth climbed to a five-month high, beating expectations and
adding to recent data suggesting the country's seven straight
quarters of slowing economic growth have ended.
In addition, the Greek parliament on Sunday approved an
austerity budget for next year, a necessary step to unblock a
new tranche of credit from the European Union and International
Monetary Fund before the government runs out of cash. Still,
investors remain concerned about whether the EU and IMF will
agree to send the next tranche.