Stocks tumbled more than 1 percent Monday, led by banks, amid concerns over debt problems in the United States and as the debt crisis continue in Europe, causing investors to move into safe haven assets like gold, which hit another record high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled, led by Boeing and BofA , after ending higher on Friday, but finishing lower for the week. The blue-chip index is now on pace for its first three-month losing streak since Feb. 2009.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also declined. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped 10 percent to trade above 21.
All 10 S&P sectors were trading to the downside, led by financials and industrials.
“Uncertainty has not gone away over the weekend,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research. “The markets are focusing on headline news again, and earnings have taken a backseat to what’s been going on.”
Detrick said he expects the S&P to continue trading in the current range.
Banks were under pressure with BofA and JPMorgan hitting fresh 52-week lows. Citigroup also slipped after Barclays cut its price target on the bank to $55 from $60.
Italian banks skid across the board, with shares of UniCredit briefly halting earlier, amid investor concerns over the sovereign debt crisis and the cost it could have on the sector.
On the eatnings front, Halliburton gained after the oilfield services company reported a 54 percent jump in profitas a U.S. drilling boom showed no signs of cooling off.
IBM and Mosaic are slated to report after-the-bell.
Throughout the week, approximately half of the Dow and more than 100 companies on the S&P are expected to report.