Stocks Take Early Plunge

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 8:54 AM CDT
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Stocks took a big plunge at the open today, with the Dow down 411 points, after a morning that saw Dow and S&P futures fall so far that trading was halted. Driving the pessimism were similar plunges overseas, with the Nikkei down 9.6%, and London’s FTSE down more than 8%, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Everyone is staring at their screens in disbelief,” said one London strategist.

The S&P fell 5% while the Nasdaq dropped 4.7%. The specter of global recession was once again looming large, as Britain’s economy contracted a worse-than-forecasted 0.5% in the third quarter, while Korea posted its weakest growth in four years. Investors scrambled into treasuries, sending yields down 10 basis points. “Emotions are ruling the markets” said one bond strategist. “Treasuries seem a safe haven indeed.”