Stocks moved sharply lower at the start of trading on Monday, with the major averages giving back some ground after closing higher for six straight weeks. A negative reaction to the latest batch of earnings news contributed to the initial weakness.

With Dow component Bank of America (BAC) helping to lead the way lower despite reporting better than expected first quarter earnings, banking stocks are posting particularly steep losses in early trading. Steel, real estate, and energy stocks have also come under pressure.

On the other hand, some computer hardware stocks are bucking the downtrend, with Sun Microsystems (JAVA) up 35.7 percent after the company agreed to be acquired by Oracle (ORCL) for $7.4 billion. Gold stocks are also seeing early strength.

While the major averages have not seen much follow-through on their initial downward move, they continue to post steep losses. The Dow is currently down 125.13 at 8,006.20, the Nasdaq is down 31.52 at 1,641.55 and the S&P 500 is down 15.99 at 853.61.

For comments and feedback: contact