Stocks Hammered To Start Trading Week
The major U.S. equity averages ran into some heavy selling on Monday to kick off the trading week. The declines came amid a stronger dollar, sharply lower euro, a bankruptcy filing by futures brokerage MF Global (NYSE: MF) and rising Italian bond yields.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 276 points, punching through the 12,000 level to close at 11,955. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 11,954 and 12,229, finishing right on the lows of the session.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) plunged 2.41% to $125.50. Volume was light with just 220.5 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 322 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, lost 1.68% to $57.95. The QQQ is up 6.39% in 2011.
Crude oil was moderately lower on the session. NYMEX crude futures lost 0.92% to $92.46. ICE Brent crude futures shed 0.63% to $109.22. The United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) shed 0.80% to $35.74.
Gold also drifted lower on Monday. COMEX gold futures lost 1.72% to $1,717.10. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) posted a decline of 1.34% to $167.34. Silver futures shed 2.80% to $34.30.
Money flowed into Treasuries, which rallied sharply. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) soared 3.97% to $115.88 amid a fearful environment. The yield on the 10-Year Note plunged 20.1 basis points to 2.12%.
The risk off atmosphere was spurred in part by a surging U.S. Dollar. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, climbed 1.94% to $21.57. The closely watched EUR/USD pair plunged 1.77% to $1.3923.
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