The Dow plunged 246.79 points to 12,606.30 today as investors, worried about consumer spending, fled retailers and credit-card issuers. Analysts are concerned the mortgage crisis has finally hit pocketbooks, hurting credit, jobs, and public confidence, the Wall Street Journal reports.The Nasdaq slid 48.58 to close at 2,439.94, and the S&P 500 fell 19.31 to 1,401.02.
McDonald’s was off 7%, Tiffany & Co. 12%. American Express disclosed a $440 million charge, then saw its stock lose 11%. Capital One, Discover, and MasterCard all dipped in AmEx’s wake as anxiety spread that consumers couldn’t pay their bills. Said one strategist, "Something really good is going to have to happen for us to avoid a recession.”