Nature abhors a vacuum. So does Wall Street, judging by recent market action. The market's "sudden fixation" on terrorism is understandable given recent headlines, but also may be a function of the calendar. With the first quarter coming to a close next week and preparations for regulatory filings under way, many companies are reluctant to make public statements. In the absence of major corporate news, many traders have turned their attention to geopolitical events , which have been grim lately. The good news for those long on stocks is that negative corporate preannouncements have been relatively modest, suggesting the coming earnings season may provide a catalyst to end this correction. The end of the market decline seemed far off on Monday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2% to 10,064.75, the S&P 500 shed 1.3% to 1095.44 and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.6% to 1909.91. Fear of reprisals after the Israeli assassination of Hamas' founder was widely cited as spurring the decline, along with the controversy over the Taiwanese elections and Richard Clarke's critical comments about President Bush on TV's "60 Minutes." Each of the major averages ended Monday below the intraday lows set on March 16 and were at their lowest closing levels since December. That's a negative technical development and suggests another test of the indices' simple 200-day moving averages could be forthcoming. At the start of the week, those averages stood at around 9799 for the Dow, 1054.59 for the S&P and 1886 for the Nasdaq. One theory is that major averages will continue to struggle, most likely coming down to test, and possibly breach, those 200-day moving averages in the coming days or weeks. It's easy to envision a scenario with more weakness leading to more equity outflows -- AMG Data reported $22 million came out of equity funds for the week ended March 17 -- particularly if the Dow falls under the headline-generating 10,000 level. Historically, mutual fund investors have been bad market timers and may head for the exits in larger numbers just as stocks get primed to rebound in concert with the release of first-quarter earnings.