NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks were hammered Monday as investors fled riskier assets on concerns about Europe's ability to address its escalating debt problems.
The latest batch of worrisome headlines from across the pond included Cyprus reportedly asking for a bailout, the resignation of Greece's finance minister and Spain making its own formal request for funding to solidify its banking system.
Europe's leaders are slated to meet later this week to formulate a plan to stabilize the region but growing pessimism about their ability to reach a workable compromise was the fueled for the sell-off, which saw safe havens like gold, bonds and the dollar find buyers.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
shed 138 points, or 1.1%, to close at 12,502. The blue-chip index lost 1% last week in its first weekly decline of the month.
fell 21 points, or 1.6%, to finish at 1314.
was hit the hardest, plunging 56 points, or nearly 2%, to close at 2836.
Within the Dow, 29 of the index's 30 components posted losses with only
Bank of America
(BAC - Get Report)
were the heaviest percentage decliners among the blue chips, declining more than 3% each.
(JPM - Get Report)
is reportedly taking steps to improve risk management of its Chief Investment Office, the unit that racked up more than $2 billion of trading losses, while avoiding big bets on derivative and private-equity investments,
The Wall Street Journal
said, citing people close to the bank.
But the CIO intends to stick with a strategy permitting a wide variety of other, potentially risky investments, the people told the newspaper. The stock fell by about 2%.
The weakest sectors in the broad market were financials, energy and technology.
Losers outpaced gainers by a ratio of roughly 3 -to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Nasdaq.
The VIX, which measures market volatility through options activity in the S&P 500, jumped more than 10% to 20.28. A move above 20 is viewed as indicative of rising market fear.