Stocks plunge on fears of global economic slowdown
NEW YORK - The news just keeps getting worse on Wall Street, where the Dow industrials have finished the day more than 500 points lower.
The steep selloff followed the latest sign of weakness in the U.S. economy -- a report that the number of first-time claims for unemployment edged only slightly lower last week. It's another sign that the job market remains stagnant.
Amid the continued jitters about the economy, one market strategist says investors have decided that "now is the time to take risk off the table." Large investors have been taking money out of stocks and putting it into cash accounts -- so much so that the Bank of New York says it's going to start charging some clients a fee to hold their cash.
European stocks fell more than 3 percent because of concerns that Italy or Spain may need help from the European Union.