Stocks Tumble on Weak Dollar and Oil Prices
Stock markets were hit today by their second sharp sell-off in less than a week, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down 360 points to a level last seen in September, before the Federal Reserve cut interest rates.When you see the train coming you should get off of the tracks. Politics won.
Banks and brokerage firms led the steep declines as investors remained skittish about lingering fallout from the summer’s subprime mortgage crisis. The dollar hit a new low against the euro and analysts predicted a broad fourth-quarter slowdown in businesses and consumer spending.
The Dow industrials declined 2.64 percent, to 13,300.02, its lowest finish in nearly two months. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index tumbled 44.65 points, or 2.94 percent, to 1,475.62. The Nasdaq composite index fell 76.42 points, or 2.7 percent, to 2,748.76.
Stocks dropped from the opening bell and never recovered, with the sell-off accelerating in the final hour of trading. General Motors weighed down the Dow after announcing the biggest quarterly loss in company history. G.M. is considered something of a bellwether for the broader business climate.
Financial stocks were off by more than 3 percent for the day. Investors remain wary that investment banks will announce more write-downs of assets related to mortgage-backed securities.