Benchmark indexes pared declines as First Horizon Corp. led a rally in regional banks that accepted about $28 billion in government cash. ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp. lost more than 2.5 percent as crude oil slid to its lowest price since May 2007 on expectations a worldwide recession will reduce demand. General Motors Corp. declined 2.9 percent after two people with knowledge of the matter said the world's largest automaker asked the Treasury for financial help to complete a merger with Chrysler LLC.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 5.9 points, or 0.7 percent, to 870.88 at 10:18 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 44.44, or 0.5 percent, to 8,334.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 11.99, or 0.8 percent, to 1,540.04. Almost two stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
U.S. stocks plunged last week, driving the S&P 500 toward the steepest monthly loss since 1938, on concern the seizure in credit markets will curb earnings more than analysts anticipated at industrial, consumer and technology companies.
Canadian stocks fell for a second day, led by EnCana Corp. and Barrick Gold Corp., as crude oil and bullion prices extended declines. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index declined 1.7 percent to 9,133.65 at 9:49 a.m. in Toronto.
U.K. stocks dropped for a second day, led by commodity producers and financial companies, as concern deepened that the global economy is slipping into a recession. The FTSE 100 Index sank 47.22, or 1.22 percent, to 3,726.15 at 3:36 p.m. in London as all but 10 stocks fell, bringing its loss for the month so far to 24 percent.
German stocks retreated for a fifth day on concern the worsening global economic slowdown will damp the outlook for earnings. The benchmark DAX Index lost 26.89, or 0.6 percent, to 4,268.78 as of 3:09 p.m. in Frankfurt.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell to a 26-year low as Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. cut earnings predictions and the yen rose for a fifth day, reducing the value of the country's exports. The Nikkei 225 fell 6.4 percent to 7,162.90, its lowest level since October 1982, paced by Honda Motor Co. and Canon Inc.
China's stocks fell, sending the CSI 300 Index to its biggest loss in four months, on concern corporate profits will weaken further as the economy slows. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 126.93, or 7.1 percent, to 1,654.67 at the close, the steepest decline since June 19 and the lowest close since Nov. 28, 2006.
Indian stocks fell, with the Sensitive Index extending a 19 percent three-day decline, on concern government measures will fail to support growth and company earnings will falter. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, dropped 733.9, or 8.4 percent, to 7,967.17 as of 12:50 p.m. local time, the lowest level since November 2005.