Stocks opened sharply lower today amid fresh fears about the global economy. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 144 points, or 1.1%, to 12,513, at the start of trading. It's currently down 155 points. Greece is expected to receive a second financial rescue package to help the country avoid a default on its debts. But there are growing concerns that the debt crisis is spreading to larger countries like Italy and Spain. Already, bond yields for the two countries have risen sharply.
Italy's largest banks, UniCredit SpA and Intesa, fell sharply today, sparking fears that even aid from international lenders may not be enough to stop a broad deterioration of the European economy. Some investors believe some of Italy and Spain's financial institutions might not pass a Friday stress-test for European banks. The US' disappointing employment news and setback in negotiations over the country's debt limit aren't helping matters. (Read more Dow Jones stories.)