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Major Averages Close Near Worst Levels Of The Day

2/4/2013 4:25 PM ET

Stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Monday, giving back some ground after moving notably higher in recent weeks. The losses on the day offset last Friday's standout gains, which came amid a positive reaction to the monthly jobs report.

Steel stocks turned in some of the market's worst performances on the day, resulting in a 2 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. A.M. Castle (CAS), ArcelorMittal (MT), and Mechel (MTL) posted steep losses.

Considerable weakness also emerged among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent loss posted by the Dow Jones Software Index. The loss by the index came after it ended the previous session at its best closing level in over four months.

Oracle helped to lead the software sector lower, with the business software giant falling by 3 percent following news of its deal to acquire Acme Packet.

Healthcare provider stocks also moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Provider Index down by 1.6 percent. With the loss, the index gave back some ground after reaching a record closing high last Friday.

Electronic storage, semiconductor, and oil stocks also came under pressure, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.

The major averages saw continued weakness in the final hour of trading, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow slid 129.71 points or 0.9 percent to 13,880.08, the Nasdaq plunged 47.93 points or 1.5 percent to 3,131.17, and the S&P 500 tumbled 17.46 points or 1.2 percent to 1,495.71.

by RTT Staff Writer

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