U.S. equity markets traded sharply lower on Monday after the Obama administration ousted GM CEO Rick Wagoner and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner implied that financial institutions are likely to need further government aid.

Overall, the market is still showing signs it can advance even after today's sharp decline. In the thirty minute period after 15:00 EDT, the market rose and the volume was higher than in the previous 30 minute period while the final thirty minutes finished with price just off the high on the best volume of the day.

Several important levels held on currency charts; the euro held the 50% retrace level of the rally that began on March 4 while USD/JPY found support at the 38.2% retrace level of the decline which began last August 15. Sterling found support at the 61.8% retrace of the rally that started on March 11, and all the majors finished well off their daily lows.

At Monday’s close of floor trading on the NYSE, the DOW was on 7522.02 with a loss of 254.16 points (-3.27%) while the S&P finished on 787.53, down 28.41 points (-3.48%). The technology-heavy NASDAQ closed on 1501.80 after losing 43.40 points (-2.81%).

The dollar traded in risk aversion mode (stronger against the higher-yielders and weaker vs. the yen). On the day, the greenback ended with a gain of 0.74% on the euro, 0.51% against the pound and 1.96% against Australia's currency as it lost 0.68% to the yen.

Treasuries ended higher as stocks were sold. On the day, yield on the 2-year note fell 6.7 basis points to 0.847% while yield on the 10-year note lost 5.2 basis points to 2.708%.

Crude for April delivery was recently trading down $3.83 (-7.31%) to $48.55 per barrel as the dollar gained.

Gold for April delivery was recently trading down $7.20 (-0.78%) to $916.00 per ounce.