Stocks Driven Lower by Europe's Uncertainty
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks sold off on Monday as questions about Europe's economic and political stability rattled Wall Street.
The headlines from across the pond were ugly with a purchasing managers index for the eurozone region falling to a five-month low, French President Nicolas Sarkozy seen as lagging in the country's presidential elections, and Dutch Prime Mark Rutte and his cabinet offering to resign over failed austerity talks.
Wal-Mart Stores(WMT) was a major drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, falling nearly 5%, as the world's largest retailer dealt with revelations that it engaged in the bribery of Mexican officials.
The Dow dropped 102 points, or 0.8%, to close at 12,927, after making an intra-day low of 12,845. The S&P 500 fell nearly 12 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 1367. The Nasdaq ended in the negative territory for the fourth-straight day, shedding 30 points, or 1%, to close at 2970.
In the broad market, losers outpaced winners nearly 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange and a little more than 3 to 1 on the Nasdaq. The VIX, which measures market volatility through options activity in the S&P 500, jumped more than 9% to 19.07. A move above 20 is viewed as indicative of rising market fear.