NEW YORK - Financial companies dragged stocks lower Monday as already anxious investors grew even more uncertain about the U.S. government's financial overhaul plan and debt problems in Europe.
The Dow Jones industrial average slid 80 points in the final 15 minutes of trading to end with a loss of 126.82. The Dow's close of 10,066.57 was its lowest since Feb. 10. All major indexes fell more than 1 percent.
Investors are worried about limits that could be placed on U.S. banks in a final version of the financial overhaul bill. A bill that passed the Senate last week is now being reconciled with the House version. Monday's late drop on Wall Street also illustrates how jittery traders are about what will happen in Europe.
The rescue of a Spanish bank raised investors' anxiety about Europe's economy. The Bank of Spain stepped in to save Cajasur after it failed to complete a merger. It was only the second time Spain's central bank saved a regional lender. The country is one of those already dealing with ballooning deficits.
Investors can't shake their concerns that there could be more bank bailouts in Europe if a wave of bad debt cascades through financial markets.
The euro fell against the dollar on Monday, dropping to $1.2361. The 16-nation currency has become a symbol of investors' concern about the continent's economy. Traders have been dumping the euro on fears that massive debts will cause a default by a weaker country in the European Union.
Analysts question whether countries such as Greece, Spain, and Portugal will be able to contain mounting debt through steep spending cuts. Investors are also worried that those budget cuts will upend an economic recovery in Europe and slow a worldwide rebound.
"Right now, the U.S. financial markets are trading very much out of fear and not any fundamentals," said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist of Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
The Dow's decline amounted to 1.2 percent. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 14.04, or 1.3 percent, to 1,073.65, and the technology-dominated Nasdaq composite index fell 15.49, 0.7 percent, to 2,213.55.
About three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.3 billion shares, compared with 2.3 billion Friday.