Stocks moved sharply lower at the start of trading on Monday, with lingering concerns about the financial situation in Europe weighing on the markets. The major averages all showed notable moves to the downside after turning in a mixed performance last week.
The initial weakness on Wall Street came as traders are keeping a close eye on the latest developments in Europe, where Spain formally asked for a bailout to shore up its ailing banking sector.
Europe is likely to remain in focus throughout the week, as European leaders are due to hold a summit to discuss the ongoing debt crisis on Thursday and Friday.
Banking stocks have moved substantially lower in early trading, dragging the KBW Bank Index down by 2.5 percent. Financial giants Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) are turning in two of the sector's worst performances.
Significant weakness has also emerged among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Networking Index.
Oil service, steel, and airline stocks are also posting steep losses, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.
The major averages have edged up off their lows for the session in the past few minutes but remain firmly negative. The Dow is down 142.36 points or 1.1 percent at 12,498.42, the Nasdaq is down 36.88 points or 1.3 percent at 2,855.54 and the S&P 500 is down 17.79 points or 1.3 percent at 1,317.23.
by RTT Staff Writer
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