WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Stocks moved sharply lower at the start of trading on Tuesday amid lingering uncertainty about the political situation in Europe. The major averages all showed notable moves to the downside after ending the previous session mixed.
The initial weakness was partly due to negative sentiment generated by news that Greece's mainstream conservatives failed to form a coalition government following Sunday's election, giving the Left Coalition party an opportunity to form a government.
While the Left Coalition party is expected to face an uphill battle, its efforts could lead to a government opposed to the terms of the bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Traders also continue to express some concerns about the impact of Socialist Francois Hollande's election as the next president of France.
Gold stocks are seeing significant weakness in early trading, resulting in a 3 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The weakness in the sector comes amid a steep drop by the price of gold, which is falling by more than $25 an ounce.
Considerable weakness is also visible among energy stocks, which are moving lower along with the price of crude oil. Housing, semiconductor, and railroad stocks are also posting steep losses, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.
The major averages have edged up off their lows for the young session in the past few minutes but remain firmly negative. The Dow is down 80.00 points or 0.6 percent at 12,928.53, the Nasdaq is down 19.34 points or 0.7 percent at 2,938.42 and the S&P 500 is down 8.15 points or 0.6 percent at 1,361.43.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX