The stock market Tuesday had its worst day since 9/11 as investors around the world began to lose faith in the U.S. economy. The Dow fell by 4.3 percent, and S&P estimated total losses at $632 billion. The development came only a day after Alan Greenspan warned of a potential recession.
The Dow fell 546.02, or 4.3 percent, to 12,086.06 before recovering some ground in the last hour of trading to close down 416.02, or 3.29 percent, at 12,216.24, leaving it in negative territory for the year. Because the worst of the plunge took place after 2:30 p.m., the New York Stock Exchange’s trading limits, designed to halt such precipitous moves, were not activated.
The decline was the Dow’s worst since Sept. 17, 2001, the first trading day after the terror attacks, when the blue chips closed down 684.81, or 7.13 percent.
The drop hit every sector across the market, and a total of $632 billion was lost in total in U.S. stocks on Tuesday, according to Standard & Poor’s Corp. Riskier issues such as small-cap and technology stocks suffered some of the biggest declines, but big industrial companies, those that are often hurt the most in an economic downturn, also were pummeled, with raw materials producers among the hardest hit.
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