U.S. stocks dipped on Monday, weighed down by soft data out of China and Boeing's latest production setback. Merger and acquisition announcements, however, as well as company-specific news including on Facebook and Alexion Pharma, helped keep the S&P 500 and Nasdaq from bigger losses. China's exports unexpectedly tumbled 18.1 percent in February, against expectations for a 6.8 percent rise, swinging the trade balance into deficit and adding to fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. There's a little bit of profit-taking," said Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation at ING Investment Management in New York.
The White House on Monday forecast more robust economic growth in 2014 than last year and a further pickup in the economy for 2015. Under a White House projection, the U.S. economy is expected to expand by 3.1 percent this year, faster than last year's 1.7 percent. Growth would pick up to 3.4 percent in 2015, the White House said. The jobless rate, which reached a high of 10 percent in 2009, fell to a five-year low of 6.6 percent in January.
Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker that has grown into a U.S. sensation, is looking to sell a minority stake in a deal that could value the company at around $2.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said. The company is working with Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) as it considers selling roughly 20 percent of itself, and is speaking to consumer companies and private equity firms to gauge their interest, the people said on Monday. Chobani, based in New Berlin, New York, previously held discussions with banks about pursuing an initial public offering, but switched gears in the face of mounting competition from other Greek yogurt companies, the people said. Representatives for Chobani did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while Bank of America declined to comment.