S&P 500 enters bear market on Europe worries

NEW YORK (AP) ? The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.6 percent early Tuesday, bringing it into what many consider to be a bear market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell near a record low as investors piled into lower-risk assets.

Stocks fell broadly as investors worried that Greece might be edging closer to default, which would cause heavy losses for banks that hold Greek debt and rattle global financial markets. Greece has said it wouldn’t be able to make budget cuts it had agreed to as part of a deal to receive emergency loans.

The S&P 500 fell 20 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,079 as of 10:15 a.m. That brought the widely used index 21 percent below its April 29 high of 1,363, meeting the criteria of a bear market.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 207, or 1.9 percent, to 10,448.The Dow is 18 percent below its recent peak, just shy of the 20 percent decline market watchers consider to be a bear market.

The Nasdaq composite dropped 28, or 1.2 percent, to 2,307.

Bank of America fell 3.9 percent, the most of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow average. American Express Co. and General Electric Co. each lost 3 percent.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.72 percent, just above its record low of 1.71 percent reached on Sept. 22. Bond yields fall as prices rise.

In corporate news, Apple Inc. is widely expected to announce the newest version of its iPhone Tuesday. Tim Cook, who took over the company’s CEO role from co-founder Steve Jobs in August, is expected to unveil the new smartphone at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. The company lost 0.6 percent in early trading.

Bank of America Corp. lost 7 percent to $5.15 as investors continued to be troubled by its exposure to soured mortgages securities and a several-day outage of its website. The company’s stock lost 9 percent Monday to $5.53, a level not seen since 2009.

European indexes also declined sharply. Benchmark indexes in Germany, France, and Spain each lost more than 3 percent.