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Benchmarks settled in the red on Monday as investors refrained from placing big bets ahead of the second-quarter earnings season. The blue-chip index and the S&P 500 snapped their three-day record rally on Monday. The Nasdaq ended in the red zone, dragged down by declines in bio-tech and Internet stocks.

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined almost 0.3% to close Monday’s trading session at 17,024.21. The Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) dropped 0.4% to finish at 1,977.65. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,451.53; declining 0.8%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surged 9.8% to settle at 11.33. Total volume for the day was roughly 4.81 billion shares, lower than last month’s average of 5.80 billion. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 67% stocks that declined, 30% advanced.
 
The S&P 500 and the blue-chip index retreated from Thursday’s record close after investors refrained from betting ahead of the start of the second-quarter earnings season. The Dow had closed above the 17,000 mark for the first time on Thursday. This helped the blue-chip index end at a record level for the fourteenth time this year. The S&P 500 also ended at another high on Thursday; the twenty-fifth one for the year.
 
Earnings season is expected to kick off this week. On Tuesday, aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) will declare quarterly earnings results. Among other major releases, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is expected to release earnings numbers on Friday. The following week, heavy-weights such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) are expected to post quarterly earnings results. According to FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE:FDS), earnings for the S&P 500 are expected to rise 4.9% this quarter.
 
The Nasdaq ended in negative territory largely due to Internet stocks. Shares of Internet television network provider Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), online travel company TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) and Internet radio service provider Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE:P) decreased 2.5%, 1.6% and 5.8%, respectively.
 
Internet stocks from the Technology sector such as Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN), Yelp, Inc. (NYSE:YELP), LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ:FEYE) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) declined 0.4%, 3.3%, 3.9%, 2.6%, 1.7%, 6.0% and 1.5%, respectively.
 
Bio-tech stocks too dragged the Nasdaq down. Shares of bio-tech companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) decreased 0.8%, 1.9%, 2.2%, 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively.
 
Airline stocks incurred losses on Monday. Shares of U.S. airline companies such as Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL), United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:UAL) and American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL) declined 4.4%, 3.2%, and 3.7%, respectively. The decline in shares of airline stocks had a negative impact on the industrial sector. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) declined 0.7%.
 
Small-cap stocks also posted losses on Monday. The Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks underperformed other benchmarks. The index declined 1.8%, its biggest drop since April 25.
 
Seven out of 10 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the red. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) declined 1.6%, the highest among the S&P 500 sectors. Key housing stocks from the sector such as DR Horton Inc. (NYSE:DHI), Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE:TOL), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) decreased 1.9%, 2.1%, 1.6%, 2.0% and 2.6%, respectively.
 
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) declined 0.8%, the second biggest among the S&P 500 sectors. Key stocks from the Materials sector such as E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW), Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE:LYB) and Praxair Inc. (NYSE:PX) dropped 0.2%, 1.6%, 1.0%, 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively.

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