FoxNews.com: Wall Street Drenched in Red Ink: Nasdaq Crumbles 5.2% Amid Euro, Economic Tension
FOX Business: The Power to Prosper
Nervous traders darted out of equities and flocked into safe-haven assets on heightened euro zone sovereign debt and global economic tensions, launching the markets deep into negative territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 420 points, or 3.7%, to 10,991, the S&P 500 slid 53.2 points, or 4.5%, to 1,141 and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 131 points, or 5.2%, to 2,380. The FOX 50 plunged 32.7 points to 828.
Energy and materials stocks like Halliburton (HAL: 40.85, -4.60, -10.12%) and U.S. Steel (X: 27.28, -2.81, -9.34%) took the strongest beating. However, the selloff was broad, with industrials such as General Electric (GE: 15.34, -0.89, -5.48%) and most other sectors coming under intense selling pressure as well.
In a sign of the uncertainty in the markets, safe-haven assets rallied in early trading. Gold jumped $28.20, or 1.6%, to $1,822 a troy ounce, settling at a record high. The benchmark 10-year treasury rallied, with the price soaring over $100, and the yield slumping to an all-time low below 2%.
Volatility was quite high on the day. Indeed, the VIX, often referred to as a gauge of fear, spiked 36%.
The economy has come squarely back into focus with a heavy stream of economic data released on Thursday. Morgan Stanley also warned the global economy is “dangerously close to a recession” and cut its global economic growth outlook significantly. Goldman Sachs also pared back its forecast of economic growth.
Manufacturing in the Philadelphia area contracted sharply in August. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s gauge of manufacturing activity came in at -30.7, far short of expectations of 3.7. Reading above 0 point to expansion, while those below 0 indicate contraction.
A number below the -20 level is “rare outside of a recession” and poses a “very worrying development” for policymakers who are working to keep the economy afloat, according to economists at Barclays Capital.
The markets are being driven lower “not only be the euro zone … but also a relentless release of domestic data that speaks to both an underlying inflationary environment and anemic – if not stagnant growth here in the U.S.,” Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital Group said in a note to clients.
Wall Street has also been paying close attention to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe for several months. The fears peaked last week when reports suggesting certain large European banking institutions may have issues gaining access to sufficient capital sparked massive selloffs and volatility.
A report on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal saying the Federal Reserve is very concerned about major European banks facing significant funding difficulties rekindled those fears. The Fed was also worried that the crisis on the other side of the Atlantic could spillover into the U.S. banking system, according to the report…..Read More
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