Stocks sink, pulling S&P 500 down from 5-year high


NEW YORK — Stocks closed lower on Wall Street today, pulling the Standard & Poor's 500 index down from the five-year high it reached Friday.

The S&P 500 dropped four points to end at 1,461 today. Stocks surged last week after lawmakers reached a last-minute budget deal.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points to close at 13,384, while the Nasdaq composite fell two points to 3,098.

Investors are shifting their focus to corporate profits. Aluminum producer Alcoa launches the reporting season for the fourth quarter of 2012 after the market closes on Tuesday.

Superstorm Sandy, the presidential election, and worries about the narrowly avoided “fiscal cliff” could make for some surprises.

Falling stocks outnumbered rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was about average at 3.3 billion shares.