With time running out for Greece to strike a new deal and its banks desperately short of cash, a wave of selling that started in Asia early Monday spread to Europe, then the U.S. By the end of the day, nine of the 10 industry groups in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index were down. But the index itself had fallen a modest 0.4 percent.
Still, many investors were clearly nervous, putting money into assets considered safe bets in turbulent times such as U.S. government bonds. A rout in the stocks of oil drillers and other energy companies fed the selling as the price oil plunged nearly 8 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 46.53 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,683.58. The S&P 500 gave up 8.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,068.76. The Nasdaq composite fell 17.27 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,991.94.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 1.5 percent while the CAC-40 in France fell 2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.8 percent lower.
Oil fell $4.40 to $52.53 a barrel on worries that a slowdown in Europe from the Greek crisis will cut demand for oil. Prices also reflected worries that Iranian crude held back by sanctions will soon hit the market as talks with the U.S. over Iran’s nuclear program continue to progress.
When the Greek government announced June 29 plans to hold a referendum and the closure of the country’s banks, markets plunged around the world. In the U.S., the S&P 500 fell 2.1 percent, its biggest drop since the start of the year.
On Monday, investors braced for a repeat as Asian markets opened sharply lower. By the end of their trading days, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s Kospi each dropped more than 2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 3.2 percent.
China bucked the trend. The country’s benchmark index, the Shanghai Composite climbed 2.4 percent after regulators and the securities industry intervened to prop up prices that had been falling in recent weeks.
Among U.S. stocks making big moves, Aetna sank $8.08 to $117.43, a 6.4 percent loss. That was the biggest slide in the S&P 500. The company agreed last week to buy rival health insurer Humana for $35 billion.
The euro fell 0.5 percent to $1.1057. The dollar slipped 0.3 percent to 122.54 Japanese yen.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.29 percent from 2.39 percent late Thursday, a big move. U.S. markets were closed Friday for Independence Day.
Gold rose $9.70 to $1,173.20 an ounce, silver rose 19 cents to $15.73 an ounce and copper fell nine cents to $2.54 a pound.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $3.78 to close at $56.54 in London.
In other futures trading on the NYMEX:
- Wholesale gasoline fell 11 cents to close at $1.924 a gallon.
- Heating oil fell 13.1 cent to close at $1.709 a gallon.
- Natural gas fell 6.6 cents to close at $2.756 per 1,000 cubic feet.