>> Wall Street plummeting on Monday. The benchmark S&P 500 hitting its lowest level in 14 months. Investors pulling their money from the market, concerned about rising US interest rates and slowing economic growth. Reuters' US Markets Editor, Dan Burns.>> The US Federal Reserve meets later this week. It's expected to lift interest rates again.
Interest rates matter for companies and stocks because interest rates are effectively the cost of money. The cost of acquiring funds to operate and run a business. And when those costs go up, it cuts into corporate profits. Profits had a great year in 2018. They're not going to rise by anywhere near as much in 2019, and a lot of people are really waking up to that reality.
>> US bond fund tycoon Jeffrey Gundlach adding to the sober sentiment on Monday, telling CNBC that the S&P 500 is headed to new lows and that US equities are in a long-term bear market. The pressure coming at a time of year when investors typically look forward to what's known as a Santa Claus rally, when top-performing stocks sometimes extend their gains at a last rush before December 31.
>> We're not seeing that this year. It's a December that resembles somebody got a big lump of coal in their stocking instead of nice shiny gifts beneath their Christmas tree. Right now this is the worst December in 16 years. We haven't seen anything quite like this since the end of the dot com era in 2002.
If we got a few more percentage points in this, we could go back even further in history.>> The three major US stock indexes all ending down more than 2% Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 500 points for the day.