The FTSE in London finished behind by 2.09% and the DAX in Germany tumbled 3.18% on Monday. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled down nearly 3% and the Nikkei in Japan fell 1.86%.

Meanwhile, safe-haven buying had pushed the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury to fresh lows Monday but the intensity of the declines lessened as the day wore on. At last check, the 10-year was up 7/32, diluting the yield to 1.437%, while the greenback was advancing 0.17%, according to the dollar index.

September crude oil futures shed $1.14 to settle at $91.83 a barrel. August gold futures fell by $5.40 to settle at $1,577.40 an ounce.

In corporate news, NRG Energy ( NRG) said Sunday it reached a deal to buy GenOn Energy ( GEN) for $1.7 billion in stock. The merger creates the largest competitive power generation company in the United States.

Also, Chinese oil and gas exploration giant Cnooc ( CEO) has agreed to buy Canadian energy company Nexen ( NXY) for $15.1 billion in cash. This is the largest overseas buyout by a Chinese company.

Through Friday, S&P Capital IQ estimated that 69% of the 118 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings for the 2012 second quarter calendar year have beaten Wall Street's expectations, and 43% of them have shown double-digit profit growth.

Collectively, the S&P 500 has reported a 5.9% EPS surprise, the firm said.

S&P Capital IQ also said the blended growth rate for the S&P 500 is minus 0.81% for the second calendar quarter with only the industrials, consumer staples and information technology sectors expected to show growth.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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