The markets opened sharply lower on continued worries about oil prices and a stumbling financial services sector. The Dow lost over 100 points to 11,960 while Nasdaq tumbled 23 points to 2439.
On the upside
Money transfer services firm Western Union (NYSE: WU) announced a $1 billion stock purchase.
The price of gold rose lifting mining companies. Investors snapped up shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM).
On the downsideInvestors were particularly worried about Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) missing its earnings forecast with some analysts predicting a loss for the latest quarter.
Rumors continued to swirl around Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) of a major management shakeup.
CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI) announced plans to offer $125 million in convertible senior notes due 2013.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 10 points to 726.