Investors reacted to the S&P's US credit rating downgrade and Europe's debt woes today exactly the way you'd expect: They panicked. Stocks started low, and have sunk ever deeper throughout the day. As of 2:26pm EST, the Dow was down a whopping 600 points, taking it below 11,000, with the S&P and Nasdaq falling around 76 and 158 points, respectively. “The initial reaction with most things problematic in the market is to sell and ask questions later,” one investment banker told the Wall Street Journal this morning.
The turmoil sent investors scrambling to an ironic place for safety: US Treasurys, which saw big gains despite the downgrade. Gold also soared, hitting more than $1,720 an ounce. (Read more stock market stories.)