Swine flu panic swept across markets today, sending stocks lower around the world. In the US, the Dow sank 80 points at the open, while the S&P and Nasdaq fell 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. In Asia, the Hang Seng tumbled 2.7%, while many major European indexes were down more than 1%. Commodities sank, with oil down almost $3 a barrel, as did transportation and travel stocks, with American Airlines down 7.6%
"As if we didn’t have enough to contend with," wrote one Sydney-based analyst, while a Londoner wrote, "It’s just what we need now, a flu pandemic in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression."