Dow drops 108 points on Greek worries

But the losses are trimmed substantially in the late afternoon, even as traders worry that a Greek debt default could come soon. Tech stocks rebound, especially Apple, which hits a record high. Gold and oil fall.

By Charley Blaine Sep 19, 2011 12:59PM
Charley BlaineUpdated at 11:34 p.m. ET

A big test for stocks is on -- to see whether last week's rally can continue -- and, for Monday anyway, the market didn't pass.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were down more than 200 points for the day until a bit after 2 p.m. The loss was trimmed to as little as 69 points with 20 minutes to go in the session before the index fell back. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) actually worked their way above 1,200. And all this while Treasury yields fell and the dollar moved higher as many investors sought safety in U.S. markets. Gold (-GC), silver (-SI) and crude oil (-CL) settled lower.

There were few gains in the market. Financial, energy and materials stocks pulled the market lower.

The ugliest part of the sell-off followed selling in Asian and European markets after worries built that Greece could default on its debt this week. But the Greek government said late Monday that talks between Greek financial officials and officials of the International Monetary Fund and the European Union went well, leading to hopes that cash to pay bills and meet payrolls would come soon.

The Dow closed down 108 points, or 0.9%, to 11,401 after falling as many as 254 points around 10:15 a.m. The S&P 500's loss was 12 points, or 1%, to 1,204. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was briefly in the black at 3:30 p.m. ET, but the index fell back to a 9-point loss at 2,613.The Nasdaq-100 ($NDX) actually finished up 3 points to 2,309.

Article continues below.

Futures trading suggest more stress for markets on Tuesday, with the Dow possibly down 70 points at the open and the S&P 500 down 8 points.

The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee starts a two-day meeting that will focus on possible tools to boost the economy. The Commerce Department reports on housing starts.

Earnings results are due from Adobe Systems (ADBE), ConAgra Foods (CAG) and Oracle (ORCL).
 
Today's early selling was prompted after a two-day meeting of European financial ministers called to try to find some way of stabilizing the euro failed to produce any decisions that could boost confidence.

Gold settled down $35.80, or 2%, to $1,778.90 an ounce Monday, its lowest settlement price since Aug. 25. The metal is down 5.2% since Sept. 2.

Silver, meanwhile, was off $1.668, or 4.1%, to $39.163 an ounce. Copper (-HG) had dropped 14.9 cents, or 3.8%,  to $3.7825 a pound.

Light sweet crude oil had closed down $2.26, or 2.6%, to $85.70 a barrel, and Brent crude was off $2.95, or 2.6%, to $109.27. For the year, light sweet crude is now down 6.8%.

The dollar moved higher against the euro and the British pound and lower against the yen and Swiss franc.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.94% from Friday's 2.076%. Aside from the fact that the yield is really low, it should be noted that the yield is lower than the dividend yield on stocks in the S&P 500. The dividend yield was 2.17% on Friday.

Energy prices -- New York close



Mon.

Fri.

Month chg.

YTD chg.
Crude oil (-CL)

$85.70

$87.96

-3.50%

-6.22%
(per barrel)











Heating oil (-HO)

$2.9447

$3.0089

-4.52%

15.76%
(per gallon)











Natural gas (-NG)

$3.8290

$3.8090

-5.55%

-13.08%
(per mil. BTU)











Unleaded gasoline (-RB)

$2.6965

$2.7841

-6.25%

9.92%
(per gallon)











Brent crude 

$109.14

$112.22

-4.97%

15.19%
(per barrel)











Retail gasoline

$3.5880

$3.5930

-0.80%

16.80%
(per gallon; AAA)












Greece is the market
The sell-off in U.S. stocks had its roots in the European debt crisis and the absence of much concrete from a two-day meeting of European finance ministers Friday and Saturday. It was clear Sunday night Eastern time that U.S. stocks would fall sharply Monday.

There was also fear that President Barack Obama's deficit-reduction plan would go nowhere after it proposed $1.5 trillion in taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

But that was only a small factor in the selling. "It's Greece all of the time," said Toronto money manager Terry Bedford.

Big movers: Goodrich, Tyco, Lennar, Netflix
Shares of Goodrich (GR), the maker of landing gear, wheels, brakes, engine-control systems and other products for airplanes, closed up 15.8% to $107.60. Reports Friday and over the weekend said that Dow component United Technologies (UTX) is reportedly exploring a takeover bid for Goodrich. United Technologies was up 0.3% to $74.55.
 
Tyco International (TYC) said it will separate into three publicly traded companies -- security business ADT North America, flow control products and services, and a commercial fire and security business. Shares were gaining 2.4% to $44.75.

Shares of homebuilder Lennar (LEN) were up 4.9% to $14.47 after the company's fiscal-third-quarter results beat expectations. Net income declined 31% to $20.7 million, or 11 cents a share, from a year ago. Analysts had been looking for 10 cents. Revenue declined slightly to $820.2 million.

General Motors (GM) reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers union on a new four-year labor contract covering the Detroit carmaker's 48,500 U.S. workers. Shares were up 2% to $23.05.

Netflix (NFLX) plans to rebrand its DVD-by-mail service as Qwikster and separate the business from its movie streaming. Shares were down 7.4% to $143.75.

A broad sell-off
Only four of the 30 Dow stocks were lower. The best performer was McDonald's (MCD), 0.6% to $88.81. The laggards were Bank of America (BAC),Alcoa (AA) and American Express (AXP), down 3.3% to $6.99, 3.3% TO 11.58 and 2.9% to $48.68.

Only 82 S&P 500 stocks were higher, led by Goodrich, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), up 5.7% to $336.14, and Starbucks (SBUX), up 5% to $41.16. The laggards were Morgan Stanley (MS), down 7.9% to $15.15; Netflix and Monster Worldwide (MWW), down 7% to $8.47.

The Nasdaq-100 Index ended higher mostly because of a 2.8% gain for Apple (AAPL) to $411.63 contributed 9.4 points to the index. The shares hit a new all-time high of $413.23.

In fact, only 24 Nasdaq-100 stocks were higher for the day, led by Starbucks and Whole Foods Market (WFM), up 4.4% to $72.10. The laggards were Netflix and NetApp (NTAP), down 3.8% to $36.35.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



Mon.

Fri.

Month chg.

YTD chg.
Treasury yields











13-week Treasury bill

0.0100%

0.010%

0.00%

-91.67%
5-year Treasury note 

0.830%

0.930%

-12.82%

-58.83%
10-year Treasury note

1.940%

2.076%

-12.53%

-41.30%
30-year Treasury bond

3.192%

3.341%

-11.14%

-26.82%
Currencies











U.S. Dollar Index

77.435

76.593

4.40%

-2.34%
British pound

1.5654

1.5723

-3.68%

0.31%
(in U.S. $)











U.S. $ in pounds

£0.639

£0.636

3.82%

-0.31%
Euro in dollars

$1.36

$1.37

-5.27%

1.80%
(in U.S. $)











U.S. $ in euros

€ 0.734

€ 0.731

5.56%

-1.77%
U.S. $ in yen 

76.57

76.91

-0.23%

-5.90%
U.S. $ in Chinese

6.42

6.38

0.23%

-3.02%
yuan











Canada dollar

$1.009

$1.019

-1.27%

0.55%
(in U.S. $)











U.S. dollar 

$0.992

$0.981

1.29%

-0.55%
(in Canadian $)











Commodities

 

 

 

 
Gold (-GC)

$1,778.90

$1,814.70

-2.88%

25.15%
(per troy ounce)











Copper (-HG)

$3.783

$3.932

-10.04%

-14.94%
(per pound)











Silver (-SI)

$39.1630

$40.8310

-6.24%

26.59%
(per troy ounce)











Wheat (-ZW)

$6.7300

$6.8825

-14.97%

-15.27%
(per bushel)











Corn (-ZC)

$6.9225

6.92

-10.18%

11.20%
(per bushel)











Cotton 

$1.0552

1.1052

-0.27%

-27.13%
(per pound)











Coffee

$2.6205

2.604

-9.09%

8.96%
(per pound)











Crude oil (-CL)

$85.70

$87.96

-3.50%

-6.22%
(per barrel)










 

136Comments
Sep 19, 2011 2:35PM
avatar
There have been some TREMENDOUS suggestions posted on this forum by people with something between the ears.  Our politicians are NOT listening because they have everything they need, have given us the scraps, and have been bought off by the big corporations.  They have NO CLUE as to what they are doing and they certainly are NOT doing anything productive for the American people.  Let Greece default, let B of A go down, let America go down.  If you can't run a country like we have to run our own checkbooks, you don't deserve to be in "business".
Sep 19, 2011 1:42PM
avatar
stock up and downs likely have more to do with the pump and dump schemes and relations to the small surges of 401K money coming into the market thru payroll deductions.  i doubt greece is truly that big a concern.  especially in light of the fundemental recession we're in.  THAT's the big worry
Sep 19, 2011 1:38PM
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Obamas job plan:  Transfer more taxpayer money to the Unions... AKA...Democrat re-election committee.  Political vote buying at it's best.
Sep 19, 2011 2:45PM
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Earth to Greece   .....   EARTH to GREECE !!!!!!  Hello !!! Is anybody home ?!?  Apparently not  .. I'll leave a message : CAN YOU PLEASE FIX YOUR FRIGGIN ECONOMY !??!  Considering that your economy is about the size of our state of Colorado it ought not to be too hard. You're just going to have to tell everybody there that you can't hand out free money anymore, and everybody has to get a job. OK ?  Could you get on this right away ??  The rest of us whose markets are hanging on your every action would GREATLY APPRECIATE IT.  Thanks. 
Sep 19, 2011 2:02PM
avatar
THE GREAT DEPRESSION continues ,the RECESSION never ended ask the 14 million ILLEGALS or the 14 million long termed unemployed , higher inflation ,  fewer jobs , higher forclosures  ,the list goes on & on
Sep 19, 2011 2:42PM
avatar
So why is gasoline not $2.50 a gallon for Reg.?

Why is this not a question Obama wants to attack or ask himself ? 

Please tell me, many thumbs down so you punks must have the answer.
Sep 19, 2011 2:31PM
avatar
Midwest, et al: I am more offended that almost 50% of tax payers don't pay federal income tax than the premise that the rich don't pay their fair share.
Sep 19, 2011 2:24PM
avatar

Divine Right... Wow, what an oxy moron.

 

Yeah, the rich aren't paying their fair share.

 

They don't pay SS taxes on earning over $102k (or whatever it is).  Yet, want to cut SS benefits (class warfare).   What would happen if they changed the laws that the first $100,000 is EXEMPT from SS taxes and anything OVER is taxed?  They would SCREAM 'not fair'

 

They cut jobs by the 100,000's then sit back and enjoy BILLIONS in bonuses for improving the bottom line (efforts that benefit us all)

 

They destroy companies (Bank of Unamerica) in the name of seeking PROFITS for their bottom lines with money that should be loaned out to Small Business.

 

They whine and complain about "welfare" and payouts for unemployed, but then turn a blind eye to CORPORATE welfare in the BILLIONS.

 

They MOAN AND GROAN about "ending Bush Era TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY" becuase it will prevent the "job creators" from creating jobs.  Where are they?

 

In 2010, all they campaigned about was JOBS.  Where are they?

 

Yup.  Those wonderful rich republican-backed millionairs are doing so much for the rest of us...  Enriching THEMSELVES while putting the rest of us OUT OF WORK.   The only job creation is overseas.

 

 

 

Sep 19, 2011 2:21PM
avatar
The government is greedy for more money, more power and more control of our lives. Is your life any better-off after spending the first $800 Billion stimulus? Do we have any accountability as to where all that money went? And now, we are just supposed to roll-over and give them $500 Billion more?
Sep 19, 2011 3:35PM
avatar
I just love the media. Do you ever notice how they just salivate to use hyped up words to describe drops in the market. Their favorits are "plummet", "slam" or "slammed", "dive" and "tumble". Wouldn't it be refreshing to just hear the news "reported" instead of judged and hyped?
Sep 19, 2011 2:41PM
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Oh h#ll, tomorrow it'll be up a 175 points. Every day is a comical adventure. This market is so unstable I can't see why anyone would put money in it. Just go to the casino.
Sep 19, 2011 2:15PM
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Show something got that right!!!!   NOT!

I think it is possible IMO that we will start seeing marches,riots,visible unrest in the future as the Government does not do what is best for the masses.
Sep 19, 2011 2:27PM
avatar

What are our gasoline taxes for? What are toll-road and bridge-toll taxes for? Where is all that money going? Apparently, they are not going to their intended purpose because all POTUS talks about is money for infrastructure, bridges and roads -- makes my head spin!!

Sep 19, 2011 2:08PM
avatar

Greek debt woes slam stocks again.  Greece is in trouble so why not have the US stock market go down so we can all be in trouble, misery loves company.

 

Sell your stock, make the market crash; you can see just how much better the country is doing since the market started to dive back in June.

 

All I know is that America is no better off now than it was three months ago, none of the ‘suggestions’ that have been made by either party in congress, the president or anyone else have been implemented.  A lot of ideas have been bantered around but nothing will change until some of these ideas are actually implemented.

 

Something needs to be done – TODAY – not in November, 2012. 

 

There have been an adequate number of good suggestions raised in this forum, and I find it hard to believe that those ideas have never occurred to the lawmakers in this country, such as tax reform, entitlement reorganization, fair trade agreements, hiring and job incentives, and countless others, however their implementation might upset some voters so no one who will be running for election next fall will indorse them for fear that they might ‘upset’ anyone.

 

Perhaps it’s time that our elected officials realize that they are damaging their chances of re-election more by doing nothing now – in our time of need – than procrastinating till next year. By actually doing something, even if the affects aren’t exactly great might show more to the voters than the current course of doing nothing.

 

 

Sep 19, 2011 4:15PM
avatar

 

That is why the tax code is 57,000 pages long.  Government trying to decide who is more equal than the rest.
I think the reason that the tax code is that long is because lobbyists for businesses and other special interests groups have lobbied government to make changes in their behalf.  Those campaign donations aren't just given for nothing.  Money buys influence.  Probably older than what we consider to be the 'oldest profession', but I guess that both are whores when you sit down and think about it.
Sep 19, 2011 3:43PM
avatar
Greece can go bankrupt now for all I care.  No EU bailout!  Let 'em tank!  That's what the socialists get for creating the ultimate in craddle to grave butt wiping.
Sep 19, 2011 2:34PM
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IMO we would not have had to bailout general motors they havent built a auto for years~! it is and was the UNIONS that brought them down and now my tax $ is putting money in their pockets! BUST ALL UNIONS esp the teachers union! our kids are dumb as a box of rocks but the teachers have solid jobs with excellent benefits for nothing, why wouldnt they at my expences give millions to the democrats

Sep 19, 2011 4:10PM
avatar
Poor is a relative and mostly temporary phenom. Unless born into money, most people start-off making a low wage. Gradually, their knowledge, experience, skills and abilities increase and they move-up the economic food chain. Some people, however, refuse to learn. They refuse to contribute to society and never progress beyond basic literacy and thus end-up exactly where they belong. Exactly as nature has decided it. Life is a garden and we are the gardeners -- you reap what you sow. That is what I call fair!!
Sep 19, 2011 3:24PM
avatar
Read up on the "FAIR TAX".  Simple, fair.....brilliant.
Sep 19, 2011 4:53PM
avatar
So amazing!  Last week we totally forgot about the Euro Debt B/S.  Now all of a sudden the sky is falling in on Greece.  And I hate to say it, but does it really have any effect on us in the U.S.?  Probably not, but we have to have some lame brain reason to sell our stocks again.  I wouldn't be afraid to bet that it was nothing more then lets take the profit and run day.  But find a reporter who will say that in an article.  So we go back to the Euro Debt thing again.  What about the debt issue in the U.S.A? Oh, that right ,we won't worry about that until we have to extend it the next time!!!  Wall Street you are so predictable it's ridiculous!!!!!
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Tuesday session on a lower note after generally upbeat earnings took the back seat to geopolitical concerns. The S&P 500 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) ended on their lows, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) displayed relative strength.

Once again, market participants were focused on quarterly reports in the early going, but geopolitical worries overshadowed the impact of mostly better than expected earnings. Specifically, equities ... More


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