UPDATED (11:08 a.m.)

U.S. markets are tumbling after the open, with the Dow off more than 130 points, or 1.1 per cent. 

The Nasdaq is 1.9 per cent lower while the S&P 500 is down 1.3 per cent.

A sell-off in technology and energy firms is weighing on the S&P 500, with only 19 of the 500 components in the green. 479 stocks trading in the index, or 96 per cent of the S&P 500, are negative.

Traders largely shrugged off an impressive list of merger announcements this morning, including Cnooc’s purchase of Nexen for $15.1 billion, NRG Energy’s takeover of GenOn Energy for $1.7 billion, and the Genesee & Wyoming purchase of RailAmerica for $1.4 billion.

The declines largely follow the pace out of Europe and Asia, where markets moved sharply lower. London’s FTSE shed more than 2.2 per cent into the final hour of trade, while German and Italian markets are down more than 3 per cent.

Falling in step is the euro, which now trades at $1.20884 per U.S. dollar, a fresh two-year low. The currency has taken a hit following new short-selling bans in Spain and Italy, as regulators in both countries try to reduce pressures on equity markets.

Below, starting trade in the Dow.


Photo: Bloomberg

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