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U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Monday as Italy became the latest European nation to be affected by the region's debt trouble. Rating agency Standard & Poor's said during the weekend Italy was at risk of having its debt rating reduced if it could not curb its borrowing and increase economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 146 points to 12,365. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 16 points to 1,316. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 44 points to 2,759. The good news is far and few between this morning. Krispy Kreme is jumping 17% following earnings and an upgrade. Gap and American Eagle are modestly higher on upgrades. In the commodity space Mosaic is higher on an upgrade. Potash and Agrium opened lower, but turned around after the open. BP was upgraded, but the stock is lower. The price of oil is down over 2%. Transocean is down 3% on cautious comments from an analyst. The techs look awful. Even Apple is lower on concerns of production disruption in China. The financials are weak once again. Stifel Financial was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Goldman Sachs opened lower, but rebounded after the open. It looks like Goldman is in buying their own stock. Through the morning the averages remained weak right where they started the day. No worse, no better. In the afternoon the averages slowly improved. A few more stocks in the green. In the Dow, Walmart and McDonalds have reached the unchanged level. Within the financials, Goldman Sachs is still in the green. The fertilizers look good within the commodity space and in the tech space, Apple moved into the green. About time. In the last hour the rebound fizzled. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 130 points, or 1.1%, to 12,381, with a 2.3% drop in Caterpillar shares leading declines in all but one of its components. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1.2%, to 1,317. A 1.5% drop in the tech sub-sector led declines in all 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite fell 44 points, or 1.6%, to 2,758.
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