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Wall Street down early on Greece concerns

Oct 3, 2011, 6:58 a.m.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Monday as concerns over Greece's teetering finances returned to the forefront, extending losses from the previous week.

Concerns over Europe's sovereign debt problems contributed to Wall Street's worst quarter since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008.

Greece will miss its deficit targets for both this year and next despite harsh new austerity measures, draft budget figures showed, and could be forced to seek more bailout funds.

The draft budget brought the prospect of a Greece default closer and will weigh as euro zone finance ministers meet to discuss the next steps toward resolving the currency area's sovereign debt crisis.

"I don't think Greece will be allowed to default, but concerns about the situation in Europe are causing us to pull back now as there's still so much uncertainty about what could happen," said Dave Hinnenkamp, chief executive officer of KDV Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"It's pretty hard to be optimistic right now."

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 86.43 points, or 0.79 percent, at 10,826.95. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 9.41 points, or 0.83 percent, at 1,122.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 26.54 points, or 1.10 percent, at 2,388.86.

The S&P 500 index lost more than 14 percent last quarter and fell more than 7 percent in September alone.

European shares were down 2.8 percent on Monday and the STOXX Europe 600 Banks index fell 2 percent. U.S.-listed shares of Barclays Plc dropped 2.1 percent to $9.57.

Gold, viewed as a hedge in times of risk, climbed 2.1 percent and was headed for its largest one-day rise in nearly a month.

Yahoo Inc rose 4 percent to $13.70. The founder and chief executive of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said late Friday he was keen to buy the company and that he has talked with other potential buyers about options.

Eastman Kodak Co surged 42 percent to $1.11 after losing half its value on Friday. The photography company has hired a law firm specializing in bankruptcy, triggering speculation it could file. Kodak denied it has a bankruptcy plan.

U.S. stocks fell more than 2 percent on Friday as weak economic data from China sparked fears of a global economic slowdown while Morgan Stanley plummeted on concerns about its exposure to European banks.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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