Updated from 4:11 p.m. EST
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below 13,000 and tech stocks were punished yet again as Wall Street fell victim to late selling pressure Monday.
Earlier, gains in banks, retailers and transports offset weakness in oil and gas names to send blue-chips higher, but the upward momentum faded in the final hour.
At the close, the Dow had a loss of 55.44 points, or 0.43%, to 12,987.30 -- the first time the index has closed below the 13,000 level since mid-August. The S&P 500 fell 14.52 points, or 1%, to 1439.18.In what has been a trend of late, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite saw the steepest declines. This time, the index was lower by 43.81 points, or 1.67%, at 2584.13. Pressuring the Nasdaq were losses in Nvidia (NVDA) and Research In Motion (RIMM) of 10% and 9.4%, respectively. Also on the losing side, the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Sector Index dropped 7.7%, and the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index sank 5.9%. Those moves came as crude slid $1.70 to $94.62 a barrel, gold tumbled $27 to $807.70 an ounce and silver slid 78 cents to $14.76 an ounce. The strongest subgroup measure was the Amex Airline Index, which jumped 4.7%. Elsewhere, the KBW Bank Index climbed 1.1%, and the S&P Retail Index rose 1%. "It was a thinly traded day, and even though we finished lower, it wasn't really disastrous," said Larry Wachtel, senior market analyst with Wachovia Securities.