U.S. Stocks Plunge on Global Economic Fears

The Dow Jones and S&P drop around 2.5 percent at open

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Update 3:55 p.m.: U.S. stocks have recovered slightly, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 100 points ahead of the four o'clock hour.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted as low as 300 points this morning as Europe's debt crisis thickens and the U.S. service industries continues its anemic growth. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has fallen for a third day today, down 2.5 percent. CNN Money emphasizes the economic woes in Europe:

Stocks in Europe were also under pressure. The DAX in Germany fell 1.3% and France's CAC 40 was down 1.3%. Britain's FTSE 100 held modest gains. European markets plunged Monday amid ongoing worries that unresolved debt problems in Greece may be spreading to larger nations such as Italy and Spain.

The Swiss National Bank moved to stabilize the nation's currency on Tuesday. In a move to protect the currency from Europe's dept woes, the bank set a minimum exchange rate at 1.20 Swiss francs per euro.

Madelynn Matlock at Huntington Asset Advisors tells Bloomberg, “It’s starting to feel 2008-ish where there are nine bad things to one good thing. The dreaded uncertainty is out there. Everybody is watching what’s going on in Europe at this point. The concern about a global recession is edging higher.” Noting problems on this side of the Atlantic, the news service notes:

Service industries in the U.S. probably expanded in August at the slowest pace in more than a year, adding to concern the recovery is losing steam, economists said before a report this week. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index fell to 51 last month, the lowest since January 2010, from 52.7 in July, according to the median of 59 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of the 10 a.m. release.

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