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Stocks close down, as investors eye bond yields

Specialist Vincent Surace, foreground, works with traders at

Specialist Vincent Surace, foreground, works with traders at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday. Stocks bounced back Friday from consecutive days of significant declines, with more evidence of a rebounding U.S. housing market. (Aug. 16, 2013) Credit: AP

U.S. stocks fell for a fourth day in a row Monday as investors continued to worry about the recent rise in bond yields. Banking stocks also dragged down the broader market.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 70.73 points to 15,010.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.59 percent to 1,646.05.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 0.38 percent to 3,589.09. The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of primarily riskier, small-company stocks, fell nearly twice as much as the S&P 500. The Russell 2000 index fell 11.05 points, or 1.08 percent, to 1,013.25.

Investors had little data to digest Monday, so the focus for many remained the ongoing climb in bond yields. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.88 percent from 2.83 percent Friday. Yields are at their highest level since July 2011.

The 10-year yield has been rising sharply from a recent low of 1.63 percent reached in early May as the economy has improved and as investors anticipate an end to the Federal Reserve's huge bond-buying program as early as next month. The program has been keeping interest rates low to encourage borrowing and hiring.

-- AP

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