Markets are off to a lousy start on Monday with the big three U.S. indexes in the red after closing on 2009 highs on Friday. In the absence of new economic data, investors are rethinking the two-month rally that helped major indexes rise more than 40% since hitting multi-year lows in March.
As of 11 am, the Dow was down 1.27% to 8465.77, the S&P 500 has tumbled 1.43% to 915.96, and the Nasdaq had fallen 0.12% to 1746.84.
The morning’s financial news has been faint but gloomy. The Washington Post reported the Obama administration said it would reverse Bush era rules that made it difficult to enforce anticompetitive business behavior. Meanwhile, questions are arising as to whether the financial sector, which rose 23% last week, has really seen the worst of the credit crisis.
Markets were relieved by results of the Stress Tests leaked early last week and then published officially on Thursday after the bell, but financial shares are struggling in the first 90 minutes on Monday. Some may be concerned that Friday’s unemployment data was on a nastier course than the “more adverse” scenario envisioned by the government tests.
To top it off, GM’s chief executive, Fritz Henderson, repeated in a conference call Monday morning that the company would likely file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As of 11:30, GM shares are down nearly 10%.