Stocks Battered Again

Stocks plunged Monday as rising oil prices and interest rates raised fears of 1970s-style stagflation.

Fresh off Friday’s much weaker than expected jobs report, investors got a double dose of bad news on Monday.

Stocks began the day under pressure after oil prices spiked on growing tensions with Iran, then turned sharply lower in the afternoon after tough talk from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke raised fears that the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates to keep inflation under control.

The major indexes ended the day 2% lower, and three-quarters of all stocks fell on the Nasdaq and NYSE.

One bright spot was BMC , which gained 3% on upgrades from Goldman Sachs and Piper Jaffray ahead of its earnings report on Wednesday. Both firms praised BMC’s restructuring moves and initiatives to increase shareholder value.

Vonage finally bounced despite a shareholder lawsuit, rising 2.8%.

Level 3 lost 6.6% on an acquisition.

The Nasdaq lost 50 to 2169, the S&P 500 fell 23 to 1265, and the Dow plunged 199 to 11,048. Volume rose to 2.24 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 1.81 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 25-7 on the NYSE, and 24-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 91% on the NYSE, and 87% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 55-88 on the NYSE, and 93-69 on the Nasdaq.

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