Perfect Storm of Terrible News Sends Dow Plunging 300 Points

Some stock slumps are mysterious. Today's isn't.  The U.S. has a growth crisis. Europe has a debt crisis. And Japan is ... being Japan. Trying to find a healthy advanced economy these days is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Update 12:18 p.m. EST: Stopping its free fall but remaining low, the Dow is now down 307 points. Peter Schroeder at The Hill notes that the Dow "has lost more points in the last two weeks than it did after the House initially failed to approve a bailout of U.S. banks at the height of the financial crisis in 2008."

In another rocky day on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 341 points on fears that the global economic recovery is stalling. According to CNN Money "All the three major indexes are down at least 8% from their recent July peak, nearing official 'correction' territory (losses of 10% or more from recent highs)." The losses coincided with slumps in European stocks: Britain's FTSE 100 fell 3 percent, Germany's DAX fell 3.1 percent and France's CAC 40 fell almost 2.5 percent. The drops is being attributed to new gloomy economic data. "Early Thursday, the latest reading on jobless claims showed a large number of Americans remain unemployed. But economic woes weren't contained just to the United States," reports CNN.

Taking dramatic steps to shore up their financial markets, Japan's government stepped in to weaken the yen, and the European Central Bank decided to re-enter the European bond market." Bloomberg reports that investors are moving their money into safer bets such as gold, Treasuries and the Swiss franc and yen. "The mood right now is gloomy," Mike Ryan, the chief investment strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas tells Bloomberg. "The burden of proof is for better data that show the economy is not falling into recession. Tomorrow's payroll report is crucial. If we see another disappointment, the stock market will have significant downside from here."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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