Good morning, and welcome to the bloodbath. It's red ink as far as the eye can see this morning as Republican primary voters look to this 10-state Super Tuesday to hopefully bring a resolution between Mitt Romney and a conservative base that has essentially exhausted any viable alternative. However, problems loom large over both the domestic and global economies. And with Greece's private creditors having until Thursday to accept the terms of the Mediterranean country's bailout or risk setting in motion a $1.3 trillion disorderly default, expect the eurozone drama to weigh heavily this week.
Let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring this morning.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
All three indexes are down over 1%, with the Nasdaq edging out the S&P 500 as the early loss leader. The Dow is performing better, but with only two components showing tenuous gains, better is clearly a relative term.
With a potential Greek default affecting the banking sector, it comes as no surprise to see Bank of America (NYS: BAC) off 3% and among today's top Dow decliners. Concerns of a global slowdown, especially by large commodity buyer China, have hit commodities and the stocks that supply them hard. Aluminum supplier Alcoa (NYS: AA) and copper miner Freeport-McMoRan (NYS: FCX) are both down over 3.5%, while energy behemoth ExxonMobil's (NYS: XOM) shares lost 1%. The one piece of good news in a cloudier global economic picture is a halt to the 27-day streak of unabated gas price hikes. Increased gas prices have, more than anything, the ability to choke off this recovery as it is trying to get out of the gate. With an election approaching, big oil companies like Exxon may become an easy political target for incumbents, so investors will have to keep an eye out for adverse legislation.
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