The sharp decline on Friday seems to have changed the mood in the markets. Most traders are now sceptical of the rally continuing and expect a correction before the budget. At the best they expect markets to remain sideways and wait for the budget proposals to give some direction.
The Sensex opened with modest gains above the 10000 mark but declined fast. The index saw a low of 9897 and is trading lower by 43 points at 9939 at 11.10 AM.
The Nifty opened flat at 2982 and saw a low of 2956 in early trades. The index is trading lower by 15 points at 2966.
MTNL is the biggest loser among index stocks, trading nearly 3 per cent lower.
Zee Tele is correcting after seeing some gains during the previous week. The stock is trading nearly 3 per cent lower.
Select metal stocks are also continuing their decline. Aluminium stocks are weak today as well with Hindalco declining 2.5 per cent and Nalco losing close to 2 per cent.
SAIL is trading nearly 2.5 per cent lower.
Engineering stocks L&T and BHEL are facing some correction with both stocks losing 2 per cent each.
M&M, VSNL and BPCL are among the other losers.
HCL Infosystems is seeing a sharp fall after the company said it would share the mobile handset distribution business with Nokia. The stock is now down 28 per cent.
Cipla is the biggest gainer in early trades after reports of a possible bird-flu outbreak in the western parts of the country. The company is one of the few manufacturers of a generic version of the anti bird-flu drug Tamiflu. The stock has added nearly 3.5 per cent.
Ranbaxy has also added close to a per cent.
Tata Tea has recovered after the losses during the second part of the previous week. The stock is trading more than 2 per cent higher.
TCS and ONGC are the other gainers, though only modestly so.
Among the mid-caps, tea plantation stocks opened weak but have picked up in mid-morning trades. Most stocks are trading with modest gains.
Stocks like Venkey's India which are in the poultry business have come under pressure on reports of a sharp fall in demand for poultry products because of bird-flu worries.
Sugar stocks are seeing more selling pressure today. Most stocks in the sector are trading lower.
Deccan Chronicle has recovered all of its losses from Friday and is now trading more than 11 per cent higher.
Celebrity Fashions and Rajvir Industries are among the major gainers in mid-caps.