Stocks Reflect Investor Anxiety as Earnings Season Begins


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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Investors were not optimistic at the start of corporate earnings season. On Monday the stock market was down for a third straight session with more signs of instability coming out of Europe.

The Dow lost 36 points Monday to close at 12,736. The Nasdaq closed off six points, while the S&P gave up two points.

After the close, Alcoa kicked off the U.S. earnings season with its second-quarter results, which were better than expected.  But more than 40 companies have already cautioned investors that global customer demand has slowed down, which means profits may be lower than expected, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Analysts expect earnings for S&P 500 companies to decline one percent for April through June, compared to a year ago.

European financial leaders gathered in Brussels again to hash out a bailout plan for Spain as borrowing costs for the country have hit dangerous levels.

Americans stepped up their borrowing in May, helped by the largest monthly gain in credit card debt in more than four years. But overall credit card use is still well below where it was just before the  recession began.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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