Renewed economic worries this time touched off by the Obama administrations rejection of recovery plans submitted by General Motors and Chrysler sent stocks sharply lower today, extending last Fridays profit-taking-driven losses.
After dropping 1.9% on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 254.16 points, or 3.3%, to 7,522.02. The broad market S&P 500 index fell 28.41 points, or 3.5%, to 787.53 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 43.4, or 2.8%, to 1,501.8. All numbers are preliminary.
The administrations action included asking GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign, which he did on Sunday, and pushing Chrysler to forge a strategic deal with Italian automaker Fiat; the two companies had reached the framework for an agreement with Fiat, Chrysler announced today.
Bank stocks, which had led the markets recent rally, also renewed their Friday declines, which were sparked when CEOs of the major banks, after meeting with President Barack Obama, said business conditions in March were tougher than in January and February.
Adding to the markets weakness was investor uncertainty about the results of the Group of 20 meeting of leaders of industrialized and developing countries in London on Thursday.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 391 points, or 4.5%, to 8,236 while in Europe, Germanys Dax index tumbled 5% and the U.K.s FTSE 100 slumped 3.5%.