By Jennifer Coogan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks were little changed on Monday after a surprise gain in March retail sales offset news that Wachovia Corp
Wachovia said it would cut its dividend, eliminate jobs and raise capital of $7 billion after becoming the latest casualty of the global credit crunch.
Wachovia shares fell more than 10 percent. The S&P financial sector index <.GSPF> was down 1.4 percent.
Stocks took a sharp tumble on Friday when economic bellwether General Electric Co
"Bad news is the standard order of the day, and the market is not going to jump through hoops for these numbers. I don't think anyone's shocked Wachovia is having to grapple with this," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey. "GE was a bigger drag because it speaks to a much larger, global footprint."
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 4.65 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,330.07. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 2.13 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,330.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 7.90 points, or 0.34 percent, at 2,282.34.
On the positive side, retail sales unexpectedly rose in March, pushed up by a jump in gasoline sales, a government report showed.
Oil companies gave the S&P 500 its biggest boost. Shares of Devon Energy
Wachovia's stock fell 10.3 percent to $24.95. Dow components Bank of America
Adding to earnings concerns was a lowered forecast for , Standard & Poor's 500 companies earnings. Wall Street analysts expect them to show a 13.8 percent decline in quarterly profits compared with an 11.8 percent drop projected one week ago, according to Reuters Estimates.
Movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc
In other earnings news, shares of Eaton Corp
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)