Stocks plunged at the open today, with the Dow falling more than 200 points, sending it to its lowest level in seven weeks. As of 10:22am the Dow was down 206, while the Nasdaq and S&P were down 30 and 20 points respectively. The major cause for the panic, according to The Street, was a slew of disappointing earnings reports, including some from Dow component stocks such as DuPont, 3M, and United Technologies.
"You can rally on rhetoric, you can rally on monetary policy, but at some point investors need to sink their teeth into something," one investor tells MarketWatch, "and this quarter's earnings don't seem to be solid enough." Nor were investors reassured by the perpetually fraught situation in Europe; Spanish and Italian borrowing costs are both on the rise, after Moody's downgraded five regions of Spain yesterday.