A sharp drop in the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index sent the major indices plummeting on the first day of trading of February after a terrible January.

The – wait for it – “unexpected” drop in manufacturing was blamed on cold weather, because no one expects cold weather in December. (If bad news is always unexpected by economists, we need a new set of economists, right?)

The HW 30 shed 22.14 points to close at 1,051.80, down the same percentage as the Dow. The Dow free fell, dropping 326 points to 15,372. This was the seventh triple-digit drop for the Dow this year.

The Nasdaq plunged 106 to close at 3996.

All but three components of the HW 30 bled Monday, with MOVE (NQ:MOVE) leading the losers dropping almost 6% on the day.

The only bright spot is it looks like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae (agency) mortgage bonds are in a period of sustained growth – maybe not a rally yet but certainly helping keep down the cost of mortgages.

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