U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Monday, with Wall Street relinquishing some of its recent rise, as the yen fell after Japanese officials tried again to weaken the currency. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 134 points to 12,096. The S&P 500 Index declined 16 points to 1,268. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 38 points to 2,698. Today is a good day for profit-taking. Every sector is trading lower. The financials are weak as MF Global was first suspended and then officially filed for bankruptcy. Northstar Realty is a REIT trading up 3% after securing a line of credit. The insurance stocks are getting hit as another storm hits the Northeast. The commodities are getting hit. Occidental Petroleum is down 2% on an upgrade. Arch Coal is down 6% on a downgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is down 4% even though one analyst made positive comments. Chevron is down 2% on a downgrade. The techs are getting hit this morning although a few perked up in the first hour. Following the first hour the Dow remained down 130 points and the Nasdaq down 30 points even though Apple moved into the green. Intel is down less than 1% as the company goes ex-dividend this week. A few companies are trading higher following earnings. Humana is jumping 7% as they easily beat estimates. CNA Financial, Taser, and Cooper Tires are higher following earnings. Through the morning the averages pushed lower. During the lunch hour the Dow fell 200 points. The Nasdaq declined 40 points. The averages remained weak through the afternoon accelerating to the downside in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 276 points, or 2.3%, to 11,955, marking its first loss in four sessions. It finished up 9.5% for the month. The S&P 500 fell 31 points, or 2.5%, to end at 1,253 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 52 points, or 1.9%, to 2,684. For the month, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each added 11%. A great year in one month's time.
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