The markets fell more today than they had in 11 months in the wake of news that the service industry contracted in January and remarks by the Richmond Fed president on the growing risk of recession, Marketwatch reports. The Dow plummeted 370.03 to 12,265.13, the Nasdaq 73.28 to 2,309.57, and the S&P 500 44.18 to 1,336.62.
The unexpectedly grim news about the service sector “raised additional concerns that the slowdown which was being partially being supported by the service sector is quickly sliding into a full-blown recession," said one analyst. Today was the Dow's worst day of 2008, with financials leading the nosedive. American Express, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase each dropped at least 4%.