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Stocks suffer big sell-off in last 30 minutes

UPDATED at 4:13 p.m.:

Stocks started June like they finished May: volatile and in a big sell-off.

Stocks overcame a tough opening to turn positive and remain so for most of the day until a last-hour sell-off pushed the Dow back down near the 10,000 level.

The Dow closed down 1.1 percent, or 112 points, at 10,024.02.

The broader S&P 500 closed down 1.7 percent at 1,070.71.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 1.5 percent at 2,222.33.

It was a terrible, terrible day for BP, which is taking the brunt of the blame for the Gulf oil spill disaster. BP stock was trading down on they day and then U.S. attorney general Eric Holder said in the last hour of trading that the U.S. government is opening civil and criminal investigations into BP and its conduct before and during the oil spill.

That news sent BP stock reeling and it ended up closing down 15 percent. The company lost an eye-popping $21.1 billion in value today, as calculated by market capitalization. (Share price times number of shares outstanding.) BP's market cap now sits at $114 billion.

Stocks turn mixed after choppy day

2:24 p.m.: It's been a somewhat choppy day on Wall Street.

Stocks dove at opening on further concerns about the euro, but then quickly went into positive territory, dipping down toward flat around noon, rallying in mid-afternoon and now, with 90 minutes to go before the close of the first trading day in June, turning mixed.

The Dow is just above even.

The broader S&P 500 is down four-tenths of 1 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down one-tenth of 1 percent.

Stocks dive at opening, recoup losses

10:40 a.m.: Stocks are working their way back after a post-holiday sell-off triggered by a new four-year low in the euro.

About one hour into the trading day, the Dow is up four-tenths of 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up one-tenth of 1 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up six-tenths of 1 percent.

Europe is still in hangover after the Fitch downgrade of Spain's credit rating Friday. Continued concerns about Europe's financial viability -- yes, I said that -- drove the euro to a new four-year low. The euro is trading at $1.23.

Gold is edging back up to its historic highs, trading at more than $1,220 per ounce.

In economic data out this morning, a gauge on the nation's manufacturing activity slipped slightly backward in May after hitting six-year highs in April. This is not bad news, actually. If U.S. manufacturers can maintain this level, it will help push the recovery forward.

Also, April construction spending rose unexpectedly, hitting an annual rate of $869 billion, the biggest monthly advance since August 2000.

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 1, 2010; 4:13 PM ET
Categories:  Data , Wall Street  
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