No matter where they look, investors are seeing economic trouble.
Stocks and interest rates plunged Tuesday after signs of slowing economies from China to the United States spooked traders already uneasy about a global recovery.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped below 10,000, falling 268 points, or 2.7 percent, to 9,870.30. The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at its lowest level since October, falling 33.33, or 3.1 percent, to 1,041.24. The Nasdaq composite index fell 85.47, or 3.9 percent, to 2,135.18.
The markets began the day by following Asian and European stocks lower. Asian exchanges fell after an index that forecasts economic activity for China was revised lower. European stocks continued the slide after Greek workers walked off the job to protest steep budget cuts.
Then, shortly after U.S. trading began, the market was hit with news from The Conference Board that consumer confidence fell sharply - 52.9 from a revised 62.7 in May, according to the private research group - this month because of worries about jobs and the overall economy. It was the steepest drop since February. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast only a modest dip.
Investors are also anxious as they wait for the Labor Department's monthly employment report on Friday. Companies have indicated that business is getting better, yet there are few signs that they are ready to hire in big numbers. - AP