* Netflix and Chipotle both rise after-hours on results
* Yum Brands, McDonald's shares down on China food safety
* EMC jumps on report of activist investor stake
* Dow off 0.3 pct; S&P 500 down 0.2 pct; Nasdaq off 0.2 pct
(Updates to close, adds results from Netflix and Chipotle)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, July 21 U.S. stocks slipped on Monday
as investors remained cautious about instability in Ukraine and
Gaza, though the three major indexes ended well off their lows,
a sign that some appetite for riskier assets remained.
The S&P 500 fell as much as 0.6 percent, though it recovered
most of those losses and closed right above its 14-day moving
average, suggesting buyers were using weakness to come back into
the market. Still, the day's losses were broad, and nine of the
10 primary S&P 500 sector indexes fell. The S&P energy sector
index represented the only positive group, up 0.2
percent. U.S. crude oil for August delivery shot up 1.4
percent to settle at $104.59 ahead of Tuesday's contract expiry.
Violence escalated in the Gaza Strip despite growing
international calls for a cease-fire. The Palestinian death toll
rose above 500 while Israel's losses also mounted. While the
impact to the U.S. economy is seen as minimal, investors are
concerned about the fallout from an extended period of increased
violence as well as the prospect that it could spread to other
parts of the Middle East.
Market participants also kept watch on the uncertain
situation in Ukraine, where fighting flared in the city of
Donetsk. Last week a Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down over
Ukraine, adding to an already tense situation between the
country and Russia.
The United States and the European Union announced further
economic sanctions against Russian interests last week before
the Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down, and sanctions could
become even more stringent.
"We're certainly paying attention to the issues abroad, but
right now, they don't seem like the kind of events that will
have anything beyond a short-term impact," said John Chisholm,
chief investment officer at Acadian Asset Management in Boston.
"We expect these uncertainties to be reversed in two or three
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 48.45 points or
0.28 percent, to end at 17,051.73. The S&P 500 declined
4.59 points or 0.23 percent, to finish at 1,973.63. The Nasdaq
Composite dropped 7.44 points or 0.17 percent, to close
The CBOE Volatility Index climbed 6.2 percent to
12.81, a level that is well below its historical average of 20.
Some analysts have suggested that the low volatility has left
the market - which hasn't had a correction, defined as a 10
percent pullback, since October 2011 - vulnerable to a shock.
"Markets aren't particularly attractive, and it seems likely
that we'll see a correction of 10 to 15 percent, though the
timing on that is very difficult to say," Chisholm said.
After the market closed, Netflix Inc reported a
quarterly profit that more than doubled from a year ago. Netflix
shares rose 1.7 percent to $459.65 after the bell.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc shares jumped 8.1 percent
to $637.50 after the market closed following the burrito chain's
results, which included second-quarter revenue that sharply
exceeded Wall Street's expectations.
Herbalife Ltd dropped 11 percent to $54.02 after
Pershing Square's Bill Ackman, who is short the stock, told CNBC
he would present evidence on Tuesday that the company is an
McDonald's Corp shares slid 1.5 percent to $97.55
and Yum Brands Inc shares fell 4.2 percent to $74.13 as
the fast-food restaurant chains face a new food safety scare in
China, denting efforts to shore up reputations hurt by a 2012
safety scandal in one of their biggest markets.
About 61 percent of stocks traded on the New York Stock
Exchange ended the day lower, while 59 percent of Nasdaq-listed
shares finished the regular session in negative territory.
About 4.91 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms,
according to BATS exchange data, below the month-to-date average
of 5.6 billion.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)