Stocks plunged at the opening bell today, thanks to the super committee's failure to reach a deal and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe. As of 9:37am, the Dow was down 158 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P were down 40 and 19 points, respectively, as investors bet that the US would suffer yet another credit rating downgrade.
"There's a sense that the US economy is looking down the barrel of a gun but [Washington] cannot figure out what to do," one investor tells the Wall Street Journal. "These downgrades are coming, as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow. They're a foregone conclusion." The US isn't the only country in downgrade trouble, either; the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 2% after Moody's said it might downgrade France in the coming months.