Stocks continued their rocky ride this morning, plunging more than 600 points after the opening bell before rebounding, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Dow, in what the Journal calls a “slow-motion crash,” was down about 250 points after the first hour. The Nasdaq and S&P followed similar paths. Today's developments followed huge losses overseas, as Japan’s Nikkei fell 9.6%, Germany’s DAX fell 9.8%, and the Vienna exchange took a trade-suspending 10% hit.
“It's very clearly a crash,” said one Singapore-based holdings executive. “People are selling everything no matter what the fundamentals. It's forced liquidation.” Financial stocks paced US declines, with Morgan Stanley down 25% and Goldman Sachs down 15%. GE rose 0.6% despite announcing a 22% drop in third-quarter profits. Signs that markets were risk averse were rampant: treasury bills fell, while gold rose sharply and the dollar strengthened.