European economy weighs on US stocks

Stocks fell as traders returned to a familiar worry: Europe’s economy. Optimism about a deal to prevent ­Cyprus’s financial collapse briefly pushed the S&P 500 higher, but stocks soon turned negative after a top European official indicated that investors in struggling banks would be forced to take losses. One strategist said European policy makers have avoided a crisis by flooding the market with cash, but have not addressed the problem of long-term economic hardships. Dell rose as the company received competing bids from investor Carl Icahn and buyout firm Blackstone Group. Founder Michael Dell has sought to take the company private.