Friday, August 19, 2011

Stock Selloff Hammers Blue Chips

At WSJ, "Slowdown Fears Slam U.S. Stocks."

Stocks tumbled amid growing fears of a global recession, as investors confronted a grim mix of U.S. economic data and fresh concerns about Europe's banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 419.63 points, or 3.7%, to 10990.58. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dropped 53.24 points, or 4.5%, to 1140.65, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 131.05 points, or 5.2%, to 2380.43.

In the flight to safety, investors piled into gold, which jumped to a new record of $1,818.90 a troy ounce, up 1.55%. In the Treasurys market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year note briefly dipped below 2% in intraday trading for the first time since at least 1954, as investors sought refuge in U.S. debt.

"If it's not a recession, it sure feels like one. And if it feels like one, it doesn't matter if you can prove it with statistics or not," said John Hailer, president and CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management in the U.S. and Asia.