With traders cashing in on the gains posted over the course of the four previous weeks, stocks are seeing considerable weakness in late-morning trading on Monday. The major averages have moved firmly into negative territory, pulling back well off Friday's highs.
After trending higher for much of the past month, computer hardware stocks have come under significant selling pressure. The pullback is largely due to the reported collapse of merger talks between IBM (IBM) and Sun Microsystems (JAVA).
Resource stocks are also posting steep losses amid notable decreases in most of the major commodities prices. Within the sector, steel stocks are seeing substantial weakness, dragging the Amex Steel Index down 5.1 percent.
While most of the other major sectors are also moving lower, health insurance and airline stocks are bucking the downtrend by the broader markets. The strength in the oil-sensitive airline sector may be partly due to a steep drop by the price of oil.
In recent trading, the major averages have moved well off their worst levels of the day, although they currently remain firmly negative. The Dow is currently down 109.52 at 7,908.07, the Nasdaq is down 33.07 at 1,588.80 and the S&P 500 is down 13.75 at 828.75.
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