Thursday, August 18, 2011

Here we go again: Stocks plunge on economic fear - Yahoo! Finance

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16:  Traders work on the f...Image by Getty Images via @daylifehttp://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stocks-fall-on-worries-about-apf-515292663.html?x=0
NEW YORK (AP) -- More signs of economic weakness triggered a global sell-off in stocks Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 400 points in a return to the wild swings in the market last week.
In the United States, there were reports that more people joined the unemployment line last week than a week earlier, gasoline prices contributed to higher inflation and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic.
In Europe, bank stocks slid on worries about the region's debt problems. In Asia, Japan's exports fell for the fifth straight month.
The U.S. and European economies are "dangerously close to recession," Morgan Stanley economists wrote in a report. "It won't take much in the form of additional shocks to tip the balance."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 456 points, or 4 percent, to 10,954 at 1:55 p.m. in New York. The Dow was down as many as 528 points about a half-hour into trading.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 55 points, or 4.6 percent, to 1,138. All but three of the 500 stocks in the index fell. The Nasdaq composite fell 127, or 5 percent, to 2,383.
"This is yet another stage of panic selling," said Gene Peroni Jr., a portfolio manager with Advisors Asset Management with $7.3 billion in client assets. "Investors are reacting first and asking questions later."
Last week was one of the wildest in Wall Street history. The Dow moved more than 400 points on four straight days for the first time.
But stocks had been relatively stable this week because investors were calmed by strong earnings reports and a flurry of corporate acquisition deals. The Dow had fallen 76 points Tuesday and risen four points Wednesday -- the first time that the average rose or fell by less than 100 points on two straight days in nearly three weeks.
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