NEW YORK – Stocks were trading lower Monday morning after losing ground for five straight weeks. Among those taking a slide were airlines, banks and a cigarette maker.
Economic worries continue to weigh on markets. Airline stocks were sharply lower after an industry group cut its estimate for profits this year by half, blaming disasters in Japan, unrest in the Middle East and higher fuel prices.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines' holding company AMR Corp. fell more than 2 percent. United Continental Holdings Inc. dropped 1.7 percent. The International Air Transport Association estimates airlines will earn about $4 billion this year, down from $18 billion last year.
In early trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 48 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,103. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 7 points to 1,293. The Nasdaq composite lost 6 points to 2,725.
The three indexes dropped more than 2 percent last week. A dismal jobs report sent stocks sharply lower on Friday. The Labor Department reported that employers added only 54,000 new workers in May. The unemployment rate inched up to 9.1 percent from 9 percent.
The monthly jobs report reinforced earlier signs that the U.S. economy is slowing. High gas and food prices have cut into consumer spending and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan have slowed down supplies of industrial parts, hurting U.S. manufacturers.
The collection of weak economic data prompted many economists to lower their growth projections for the rest of the year.
No economic reports are due out Monday.