NEW YORK — Stocks closed with slight losses Monday after falling in the last half-hour of trading. Major indexes had been up for most of the day after several economic reports suggested that the recovery is continuing.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,197.88. The broader S&P 500 index lost 3.61, or 0.3 percent, to 1,310.19. The Nasdaq composite fell 12.38, or 0.5 percent, to 2,730.68. Each index had been up more than 0.4 percent earlier in the day.
The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in four months in February, though some of the increase was driven by higher gas prices. The National Association of Realtors said more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February than economists were expecting. Sales rose in every region but the Northeast, but remained below what is considered a healthy level.
In Libya, rebels gained ground against longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi after international airstrikes against Gadhafi's forces. Oil prices fell below $104 per barrel after rebels retook control of key port towns Ras Lanouf and Brega and said they would resume exporting crude within weeks.
In the U.S., Eastman Kodak Co. gained 5 percent after the U.S. Trade Commission said it will review a judge's finding in a patent dispute with Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. A favorable ruling could pave the way for Kodak to reap higher fees.
EBay Inc. fell 4.3 percent after the company agreed to pay $2.4 billion to acquire GSI Commerce, which operates websites for retailers like Toys R Us and Bath & Body Works.
Oil-services companies Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd. each rose more than 4 percent. Netflix Inc. rose 3 percent after announcing a deal with Paramount to stream more movies to subscribers in Canada.
This is a data-heavy week on Wall Street. A crucial jobs report and manufacturing surveys will be released over the next five days.
Three stocks fell for every two that gained on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 3.3 billion shares.