Stocks Slump on Europe worries

U.S. stocks fell hard on Monday as hope dimmed for European leaders to get the upper hand on the region’s debt trouble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 138.12 points, or 1.09%, to 12,502.66. The S&P 500 Index shed 21.30 points, or 1.60%, to 1,313.72. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 56.26 points, or 1.95%, to 2,836.16.

Greece’s new finance minister resigned because of ill health on Monday, throwing the government’s drive to soften the terms of an international bailout into confusion days before a European summit.

Cyprus said on Monday it was applying to Brussels for a bailout, both for its banking sector hit by exposure to Greece and for its budget deficit, making it the fifth euro zone country to turn to the bloc’s rescue funds for help.

Microsoft Corp. said Monday it has agreed to buy Yammer, a social-networking firm geared to businesses, for $1.2 billion in cash.

Linn Energy LLC (NASDAQ:LINE) on Monday set plans to pay $1 billion to buy Wyoming natural gas and oil fields from BP PLC as the independent energy producer bulks up with its second largest acquisition this year.

Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL) said late Monday that its fiscal third-quarter profit fell to $134 million, or $1.13 a share, from $212.4 million, or $1.51 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $1.13 billion from $1.24 billion last year.

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