The Dow plunged 153 points at the open this morning, reports the Wall Street Journal, as investors cast a worried eye toward Portugal and its second-largest lender. Banco Espirito Santo's shares plunged more than 17% before trading was halted on them, after its parent company revealed that it had missed short-term debt payments, Bloomberg reports. Portugal's central bank rushed to reassure investors that the bank is protected, but analysts are worried that this could signal a revival of Europe's debt crisis.
"Should the Portuguese situation continue to deteriorate, risk aversion contagion could quickly spread" throughout Europe, one New York securities strategist told clients. "The situation confirms the EU’s efforts to break the link between sovereigns and the related banking system has not been successful."