By Dow Jones Business News, March 18, 2013, 10:01:00 AM EDT
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks began Monday in a steep decline after euro-zone leaders proposed a tax on
Cypriot bank deposits to reduce the cost of a rescue, prompting worry the move might be used in larger nations such as
Italy and Spain.
After a 109-point fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 70.35 points, or 0.5%, to 14,443.76.
The S&P 500 index (SPX) shed 11.97 points, or 0.8%, to 1,548.73, with consumer discretionary leading sector declines.
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) fell 26.20 points, or 0.8%, to 3,222.86.
For every share rising more than four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 81 million shares traded as of 9:45
Composite volume topped 268 million.
A parliamentary vote initially set for Monday on the levy proposed by euro-zone finance ministers reportedly was
"This morning the news is all about Cyprus, the home to 'dirty money' with an estimated $18 billion of Russian and
other Mafia money on deposit," Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Jeffrey James & Associates, noted in emailed
"This Black Swan event over the weekend looks to be a 'trigger event' causing a bank run in Cyprus that could have
collateral damage on other 'Club Med' countries," Saut added.
Ahead of Wall Street's open, global markets were jolted by news that Cyprus will receive 10 billion euros ($12.9
billion) of financial aid but with heavy conditions -- notably the imposition of a levy on private bank deposits. It's
the first time depositors have been asked to contribute to a financial-rescue plan during the euro-zone debt crisis.
The U.S. dollar rallied 1% against the euro (EURUSD) as investors also bought U.S. Treasuries, with the yield of the
benchmark 10-year note (10_YEAR) dipping to 1.95%.
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