Stocks cut opening losses

Dow straddles breakeven point, other major gauges trim declines; worries about global markets, yen, subprime lending remain.

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks were mixed Monday morning, with investors edgy amid a thrashing in global markets, following the worst week on Wall Street in four years.

The Dow Jones industrial average (Charts) was up 0.1 percent, after having fallen in the first 20 minutes of trade, while the broader S&P 500 (Charts) index fell 0.3 percent. The tech-fueled Nasdaq (Charts) composite fell 0.3 percent.

Stocks slumped Friday at the end of the worst week on Wall Street since early 2003, as worries about growth at home and abroad caused investors to stage a mass exodus.

Although stocks continued to slide Monday, the tone was more subdued.

Stocks in Japan - and elsewhere in Asia - slumped as investors continued to pour money into the yen.

The yen has been surging over the last week as investors continue to close out carry trades, or bets on riskier currencies, bought by borrowing in the currencies of countries with low interest rates, such as Japan.

In currency trading, the dollar fell to a three-month low versus the yen. The dollar also rose versus the euro.

European markets declined as well.

Also in focus: revived worries about subprime mortgage lending woes.

HSBC (up $0.11 to $86.38, Charts) reported a record gain in 2006, however, it also said it took $10.6 billion in losses on bad debts due to problems in its U.S. mortgage lending.

New Century Financial (down $8.41 to $6.24, Charts) shares slumped 60 percent on news that prosecutors have started a criminal probe into its securities trading. (Full story).

In other news, Advanced Micro Devices (down $0.55 to $13.63, Charts) slipped after the chipmaker said that first-quarter revenue won't meet forecasts.

Treasury prices were little changed, with the yield holding at around 4.50 percent.

Brutal day on Wall Street

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