Greek debt crisis hammers Dow down 998 points

May 7, 2010 05:12

Panic spurs plunge, partial recovery

By Patrice Hill at Washington times

Greece’s deepening debt crisis triggered a stock panic Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting by a record of nearly 1,000 points on fears that the crisis threatens the entire debt-burdened developed world as well as the global economic recovery.

The nearly 10 percent loss in major Wall Street indexes occurred in a breathtaking 15 minutes that made stock market history, but lasted for only seconds and was pared by about half within 20 minutes as buyers moved in to snap up battered stocks in nearly every sector at bargain prices.

The epic proportions of the 998.50-point drop in midafternoon eclipsed even the crash seen after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

But the Dow’s quick recovery led to a less-alarming close, down 347.80 points at 10,520.32, which did not even make the list of top 10 market drops, leading to speculation that technical glitches or a trading error may have triggered a wave of computer program selling that exaggerated the sell-off.


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