* Both S&P 500 and Dow coming off record closing highs
* Tesla Motors rallies after profit outlook
* U.S. factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months
* Dow off 0.04 pct, S&P down 0.5 pct, Nasdaq falls 0.9 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, April 1 U.S. stocks fell on Monday in
one of the lightest volume days of the year, pulling back after
the S&P 500's record closing high last week and after
weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data.
Apple was the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and
Nasdaq 100, falling 3.1 percent to $428.91. Fidelity
Contrafund, a $92 billion fund that is the largest active
shareholder in Apple, reported that it cut its stake in the
iPhone maker by 10 percent during the first two months of 2013.
Data showed U.S. factory activity grew at the slowest rate
in three months in March, suggesting the economy lost some
momentum at the end of the first quarter.
Recent data that has pointed to a strengthening U.S. economy
has helped push stocks to record highs on both the Dow and S&P
500. The S&P 500 ended March with a record closing high and
posted its best quarterly performance in a year, while the Dow
broke into new record territory in early March.
"It was very difficult for the S&P 500 technically to break
through that high level and to even close there, so it doesn't
surprise me that today is a down day," said Brian Amidei,
managing director at HighTower Advisors in Palm Desert,
California. "I think there's a lot of resistance at the 1,565
The benchmark S&P index remains below its record intraday
high of 1,576.09. Moves may be limited this week in the absence
of major catalysts before the closely watched U.S. monthly
payrolls report on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 5.69
points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,572.85. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 7.02 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,562.17.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 28.35 points, or
0.87 percent, at 3,239.17.
Volume was second-lowest of the year, with roughly 5.16
billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq
and the NYSE MKT. That compares with the 2012 average daily
closing volume of about 6.45 billion. Decliners outpaced
advancers on the NYSE by nearly 7 to 3 and on the Nasdaq by
nearly 3 to 1.
For the year, the S&P is up 9.5 percent, the Dow is up 11.2
percent and the Nasdaq is up 7.3 percent.
With the strong start to the year, many investors have been
anticipating a pullback. Uncertainty over the economic future of
Cyprus has weighed on stocks in recent sessions. European
markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.
Among the day's biggest gainers, Tesla Motors Inc
surged 15.9 percent to $43.93 after forecasting full
profitability in the first quarter, citing strong sales of its
Model S sedan.
Decliners included Dell Inc, which warned that it
would be dangerous to take on a lot of debt and remain a public
company given its worsening profit outlook, in a sign that it
views proposals from Blackstone Group LP and billionaire
investor Carl Icahn as fraught with risk.
Shares of Dell dipped 0.2 percent to $14.30. Dell's comments
came on Friday, a holiday for U.S. markets.
In the day's economic data, the Institute for Supply
Management said its index of national factory activity fell to
51.3 last month from 54.2 in February. A reading above 50
indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.
A report from the Commerce Department showed construction
spending rose more than expected in February, gaining 1.2
percent, above forecasts of a 1 percent rise.
After the close, shares of BGC Partners were up
42.3 percent at $5.48 after news of the sale of its eSpeed
platform to Nasdaq OMX Group.
Also, shares of health insurers rallied after the bell as
planned cuts in U.S. government payments for private Medicare
Advantage insurers did not materialize.
Shares of Humana, which derives about two-thirds of
its revenue from Medicare Advantage business, rose 9 percent to
$81.75 in after-hours trading.