Stocks fell on Monday on anxiety that a possible global flu outbreak could derail the economy's efforts to climb out of a recession.
Governments around the world moved to contain the spread of a possible swine flu outbreak, as a virus that has killed over 100 people in Mexico spread to the United States and Canada and may have reached as far as New Zealand.
The Amex Airline Index <.XAL> shed 10.1 percent as investors worried that travel would be hit be the flu fears. Among the laggards, UAL Corp
It puts pressure on travel activity and global economic activity, said David Bianco, chief U.S. equity strategist at UBS in New York.
But Bianco added that after an impressive run that has sent the broad S&P up more than 27 percent from the bear market lows in March, investors might be taking the opportunity to lock in profits.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 29.39 points, or 0.36 percent, to 8,046.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 4.32 points, or 0.50 percent, to 861.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 8.51 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,685.78.
The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX>, considered to be Wall Street's fear gauge, rose 6.1 percent to 39.05.
General Motors Corp
Jitters over what a government stress test of 19 major financial institutions might reveal pressured financial stocks, with the KBW Bank index <.BKX> off 1.7 percent. Wells Fargo & Co
Cell-phone chip supplier Qualcomm Inc
Also on the earnings front, Dow component Verizon Communications Inc
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)