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Stocks Remain Sharply Lower In Late Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary

After moving sharply lower at the open, stocks have seen continued weakness over the course of morning trading on Monday. The major averages are stuck firmly in negative territory after turning in a mixed performance last week.

Much of the weakness on Wall Street stems from renewed concerns about the global economy following the release of disappointing economic data from China and Europe.

Traders have also reacted negatively to news that French President Nicolas Sarkozy came in second in a first round of voting, losing to socialist Francois Hollande. Sarkozy is expected to face an uphill battle in a run-off election against Hollande on May 6th.

Reflecting the global economic concerns, steel stocks are posting particularly steep losses in late morning trading. The NYSE Arca Steel Index is down by 2.8 percent after hitting a three-month intraday low.

Gold stocks are also seeing substantial weakness on the day, resulting in a 2.7 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The weakness in the gold sector comes amid a notable decrease by the price of the precious metal.

Most of the major sectors have also shown notable moves to the downside on the day, with internet, networking, software, and housing stocks posting sharp losses.

The major averages have climbed off their worst levels of the day in recent trading but remain stuck in the red. The Dow is down 132.48 points or 1 percent at 12,896.78, the Nasdaq is down 46.97 points or 1.6 percent at 2,953.48 and the S&P 500 is down 15.69 points or 1.1 percent at 1,362.84.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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