Stocks moved sharply lower at the start of trading on Thursday, giving back some ground after moving mostly higher over the course of the two previous sessions. The major averages showed notable moves back to the downside.
The initial weakness on Wall Street reflected continued concerns about the European debt crisis as European hold a two-day summit in Brussels.
Most traders are not optimistic about the summit resulting in any meaningful developments, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already ruled out the idea of common eurozone bonds.
Traders are also keeping a close eye on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is due to announce its decision regarding the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law.
Banking stocks are turning in some of the markets' worst performances in early trading, with the KBW Bank Index down by 1.2 percent. Financial giants JP Morgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) are leading the sector lower.
Gold, software, electronic storage, and biotechnology stocks are also posting notable losses, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.
The major averages have bounced off their lows for the young session in the past few minutes but remain firmly negative. The Dow is down 98.85 points or 0.8 percent at 12,528.16, the Nasdaq is down 23.73 points or 0.8 percent at 2,851.59 and the S&P 500 is down 8.77 points or 0.7 percent at 1,323.08.
by RTT Staff Writer
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