MARKETS CRASHED: DOW -216, VIX Surges 35%, YEN SURGES, EURO TANKING As Worries On Italy, Sequester Intensify. And A Fresh Round Of Layoffs Coming To Goldman Sachs

Stocks sell off as worries on Italy, sequester intensify

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with the S&P 500 extending losses after its first weekly drop this year, as political issues, both domestically and abroad, weighed.

Equities declined as investors looked to the March 1 deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach a deal to avert automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, as well as the results from a general election in Italy.


Huge swings in the Japanese yen, euro, and U.S. dollar came in the wake of some wild news out of Japan and Italy.


First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,784, -216.9 pts, -1.5 percent
S&P 500: 1,487, -27.7 pts, -1.8 percent
NASDAQ: 3,116. -45.5 pts, -1.4 percent

And now the top stories:

  • Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Japan would be sending a Haruhiko Kuroda to head the Bank of Japan.  Kuroda, the head of the Asian Development Bank, has a reputation for being uber-dovish, which is exactly the characteristic Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been looking for.  When Asian markets opened, the Japanese yen tanked and the Nikkei surged.
  • Without question, the big story of the day has been the Italian general election.  The initial exit polls showed that Pier Luigi Bersani won big, which is what the market wanted.  With Bersani came the expectation that Italy’s ongoing reforms to manage its massive debt load would continue.  European markets closed up at 11:30 AM ET.

MARKET PANIC: The Yen Is Just Going Ballistic

VIX jumps 35% on U.S. stock selloff

Democrats, Republicans appear no closer to averting massive federal cuts next month

Congressional Democrats and Republicans appeared far apart Sunday on a deal to avert $85 billion in federal spending reductions next month, with a top House Republican saying the cuts appear “inevitable.”



REPORT: There’s A Fresh Round Of Layoffs Coming To Goldman Sachs

This just in from ReutersGoldman Sachs is about to begin a fresh round of job cuts. They could begin as early as next week and will hit the equities business harder than fixed income.


Goldman usually cuts the fat from its firm around this time of year, but that number is usually at around 5%.



Follow IWB on Facebook and Twitter