US slip, erasing an early gain; H&R Block slides as sale of banking unit is delayed

NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stocks are closing slightly lower, giving up an early gain.

Tax preparer H&R Block slumped 6 per cent after the company said that its attempt to sell a banking unit was getting bogged down.

Hewlett-Packard rose 5 per cent after announcing that it is splitting itself in two.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 16,991 Monday.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 index fell three points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,964. The Nasdaq composite fell 20 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,454.

U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.42 per cent.