A number of data pointing toward slower growth in China took investors by surprise this weekend, and the reaction was swift and predictable, as U.S. markets headed down early on the news.
Losses accelerated toward the end of the day following reports of a pair of fatal explosions at the endpoint of the Boston Marathon.
The Nasdaq was Monday’s worst performer, falling 2.38% to end at 3216.49, while the S&P 500 fell 2.3% to close at 1552.36. All 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average components finished in the red, with the index closing 1.79% lower at 14599.20.
Commodities felt the fear in the markets, with gold hammered down to its lowest value in two years, losing more than $140 per ounce and trading below $1,400 per ounce, nearly 30% off its record high from September 2011.
The news was more than enough to offset a spate of U.S. merger news.
Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) stepped in with an unsolicited $25.5 billion cash-and-stock offer to buy Sprint (NYSE:S), which already has an agreement in place with Japan’s Softbank (PINK:SFTBY) at $20.1 billion. Sprint investors love the battle, as the stock rose over 13% on the day, while DISH dropped just under 3%.
Prior to the DISH announcement, genetic testing equipment maker Thermo Scientific (NYSE:TMO) bought up rival Life Sciences (NASDAQ:LIFE) for $13 billion. Once again, the target company found the range as LIFE rose just over 7%. TMO fell just more than 1%.
Finally, on the earnings front, Citigroup (NYSE:C) reported a 30% jump in income and escaped the day’s trend, managing to rise fractionally.
- National Financial (NYSE:NFP): Up 6.8% ($1.60) to $25.01.
- Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS): Up 3.3% (22 cents) to $7.15.
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): Up 1.9% ($3.30) to $176.50.
- Halcon Resources (NYSE:HK): Down 15.9% ($1.21) to $6.42.
- Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC): Down 13% ($1.55) to $10.42.
- Pan American Silver (NASDSAQ:PAAS): Down 11.4% ($1.67) to $13.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long JNJ.