Frank Fantozzi, CEO of Planned Financial Services, a wealth management firm, says people had bought gold since the financial crisis on the belief it was safe place to keep money. But now that the metal has slid 20 percent this year, they're jumping out.
"I think you're getting some panic selling right now" in the gold market, said Fantozzi. "People who have been holding on to gold expecting a rebound are now thinking, `I better get out.' "
Cetin Ciner, a finance professor and expert in precious metal markets at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, said others bought gold as a protection against rampant inflation when the economy recovered. They helped push gold prices as high at $1,900 in 2011. But the high inflation they worried about still hasn't hit.
Gold "was bound to collapse at some stage," Ciner said. "People were waiting and waiting for higher inflation, and they finally realized it's not happening."
Just seven stock rose in the S&P 500 on Monday. Among them, Citigroup inched up 9 cents to $45.87, after the country's third-largest bank reported earnings that beat analysts' estimates. Stronger revenue from trading and investment banking lifted the bank's results.
Sprint Nextel jumped after Dish Network offered $25 billion to buy the company. Dish's bid is aimed at beating an offer from the Japanese phone company SoftBank. Sprint surged 14 percent to $7.06, and Dish fell 2 percent to $36.77.
Thermo Fisher Scientific offered $13.6 billion to buy genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies. That works out to $76 in cash for each share of Life Technologies. Thermo Fisher's stock fell 1 percent to $78.58, while Life Technologies rose 7 percent to $73.11.
In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note retreated to 1.69 percent, its lowest level of the year. That's down from 1.72 percent late Friday.
The last time the 10-year yield hit 1.69 percent was April 5, when the government reported that U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected in March.
People buy U.S. government bonds when they're concerned about the economy.