Stocks Opened Lower on Cyprus Worries

U.S. stocks began Monday in steep decline  after the weekend decision by the euro zone to force Cyprus to tax bank deposits as part of a bailout deal. After a 109-point drop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lately was down 56.66 points, or 0.39%, to 14,457.45. The S&P 500 index shed 10.23 points, or 0.66%, to 1,550.47. The Nasdaq Composite  declined 22.28 points, or 0.69%, to 3,226.79.

The euro zone took the unprecedented step of taking a bite out of depositors’ accounts in Cypriot banks to help pay for its bailout of the island’s financial system, a high-risk decision that could erode savers’ confidence across the currency bloc and add to popular anger over its handling of the crisis.

Gold prices pushed to levels not seen in more than two weeks on Monday. . Gold for April delivery (CNS:GCJ3) rose $10.80, or 0.7%, to $1,603 an ounce. Silver for May delivery (CNS:SIK3) rose 3 cents to $28.80 an ounce.

Airbus said Monday that it had a received a record order for $24 billion worth of new single-aisle jets from the Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air, marking a significant inroad for the European plane maker into one of Asia’s fastest-growing air travel markets that until now has been dominated by its American rival, Boeing.

In stunning news, SAC Capital has been charged with insider trading and has settled for a record fine. The controversial hedge fund, headed by the brash Steve Cohen, has been in the crosshairs for years.

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