Stocks Slump on Housing Data

News that existing home sales continued to fall last month sent stocks lower on Monday and overshadowed some big merger news in the technology sector.

The decline in home sales revived fears that the housing slowdown and accompanying credit crunch could slow the broader economy.

The news kept the Nasdaq on the defensive all day despite a 50% jump in Gateway shares on news that the company will be acquired by Acer.

Superconductor Technologies was another big winner, soaring 78% on a venture in China.

Rambus gained 8% after wrapping up a stock option grant review.

Atmel rose 5% on news of a big share buyback.

MIPS shed 4% on news that it will acquire Chipidea Microelectronica SA of Portugal.

The big earnings news this week will be Dell’s quarterly results due out late Thursday. Dell shares were down fractionally on Monday.

The Nasdaq lost 15 to 2561, the S&P 500 shed 12 to 1466, and the Dow fell 56 to 13,322. Volume declined to 2.5 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.36 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led by a 23-9 margin on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 74% on the NYSE, and 64% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 41-63 on the NYSE, and 68-67 on the Nasdaq.

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