Spain Fear Hits Wall Street

U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday as the euro zone’s debt crisis appeared to be no closer to a resolution and worries grew that Spain would need a bailout. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 101.11 points, or 0.79%, to 12,721.46. The S&P 500 lost 12.14 points, or 0.89%, to 1,350.52. The Nasdaq Composite fell 35.15 points, or 1.20%, to 2,890.15.

Empty-handed European policy makers may have little choice but to turn to a reluctant European Central Bank to tame fears that Spain, the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy, may soon require a full-fledged sovereign bailout after borrowing costs soared Monday to crisis levels, strategists said.

VMware Inc. said Monday afternoon that it has agreed to acquire Nicira Inc. in a deal worth about $1.26 billion. Nicira, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is a venture-backed company that provides networking and virtualization technology. In a statement, VMware (NYSE:VMW) said the deal involves about $1.05 billion in cash and another $210 million in “assumed unvested equity awards.” The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, and is expected to close before the end of the year.

Average rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages have been below 3% since May, leading more borrowers to consider swapping their current home loan for one with a 15-year term. The rate on the 30-year mortgage averaged 3.53% for the week ending July 19, compared with 2.83% for the 15-year, a difference of 0.7 percentage point, according to Freddie Mac.

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