NEW YORK -- U.S. stock markets continued to lose ground by midday, with major Wall Street indexes in the red by about 1%.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 165 points, or 1.3%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 18 points, or 1.3%. The Nasdaq was down 5 points, or 0.8%.
Worries over the European debt crisis have intensified after weekend elections in France and Greece threatened to disrupt financial markets. Voters in those countries rejected the austerity measures that have led to sharp cuts in government spending aimed at reassuring bond markets.
Spot gold prices fell below $1,600 an ounce for the first time since January, though prices have been hovering above that mark in midday trading, according to Bloomberg News data.