* Fitch cuts Italy credit rating after election impasse
* China data show uneven economic recovery, policy dilemma
* Dell, Icahn enter into confidentiality agreement
* Indexes: Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P off 0.1 pct, Nasdaq off 0.2
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street edged lower on
Monday as investors paused after Italy's credit downgrade and
disappointing Chinese economic data after last week's rally that
took the Dow to record highs.
Despite the decline, the S&P 500 index was about 1
percent away from its all-time closing high. The broad market
index climbed for a sixth straight day on Friday and ended nine
of the past 10 weeks higher. All three major U.S. stock indexes
racked up the biggest weekly gains since the first week of the
European shares dipped as investors digested Fitch's
downgrade of Italy on account of the euro zone member's
political stalemate, which raised the specter of a new debt
In China, uneven economic recovery signals a dilemma for
policymakers as official data over the weekend showed inflation
at a 10-month high in February while factory output and consumer
spending were weaker than forecast.
"The market is taking a mild pause, evaluating new
information," said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at
Lek Securities in New York.
"But this doesn't at all mean we are moving away from the
strong trend that we have been seeing. Pullbacks are windows of
opportunity to just add more exposure."
Deals remain at the forefront of investors' minds.
Icahn Enterprises LP said it had entered into a
confidentiality agreement with Dell Inc and looked
forward to commencing a review of the company.
Dell shares were up 0.9 percent at $14.30.
AT&T Inc is considering buying a 25 percent stake in
India's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, a telecommunications venture
controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, for $3.5 billion, the
Times of India newspaper said. AT&T shares were down 0.4 percent
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.57
points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,390.50. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 1.62 points, or 0.10 percent, at
1,549.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 4.94
points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,239.43.
Genworth Financial Inc shares rose 7.1 percent to
$10.54 following a report by Barron's that the mortgage
insurer's stock could almost double in the next year, boosted by
gains in mortgage and healthcare pricing.
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc shares 7.7 percent at
$46.71 after the retailer reported lower-than-expected
U.S. stocks closed out an historic week with gains on
Friday, as the Dow hit yet another record closing high on a U.S.
payrolls report that surpassed even the most optimistic