U.S. stock indexes edged mostly lower in midday trading Monday as falling oil prices pulled down energy stocks. The market is coming off its best day in two months.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 49 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,139 as of 12:08 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dipped five points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,111. The Nasdaq composite gained two points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,005. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 41 cents to $58.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
THE QUOTE: "The thing to watch today is going to be crude oil," said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief strategist. "We have crude down a little bit today and energy stocks are having a tough time."
OIL DEAL: Noble Energy agreed to buy Rosetta Resources for about $2.1 billion in stock. The deal gives the oil and gas company access to two massive Texas shale formations, immediately boosting its earnings. Noble Energy fell $3.23, or 6.6 percent, to $45.89.
SLIPPING AND SLIDING: Shares in several oil exploration and production companies moved lower. Murphy Oil fell $1.51, or 3.2 percent, to $45.13, while Tesoro slid $3.22, or 3.6 percent, to $87.26. Marathon Petroleum shed $3.19, or 3 percent, to $101.69.
SOLID EARNINGS: Better-than-expected quarterly results sent shares in Actavis and Dean Foods higher. Actavis rose $10.17, or 3.5 percent, to $302.99, while Dean Foods gained $1.03, or 6.4 percent, to $17.31.
MONSTER GAIN: Investors bid up shares in Monster Beverage. The stock jumped $7.89, or 6.1 percent, to $136.36. The energy drink maker notched the biggest gain among all stocks in the S&P 500.
EUROPEAN ACTION: Markets in Europe were mixed as hopes for an imminent deal on a bailout for Greece dimmed. European finance ministers were meeting Monday in an attempt to hammer out a deal that would provide Greece with funds to make a big debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday. A debt default would destabilize Greece, potentially causing it to fall out of the eurozone. France's CAC 40 was down 1.2 percent, while Germany's DAX shed 0.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.
ASIA SCORECARD: The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 3 percent after the People's Bank of China cut interest rates for the third time in half a year, the central bank's latest bid to shore up sputtering economic growth. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent.
BONDS: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.23 percent from 2.15 percent late Friday.