Stock Meltdown Felt Worldwide
Panic Spreads Across Asia, Europe
Wall Street appeared headed to a sharply lower open Friday, extending a global sell-off on concerns that even low interest rates won't help end the worsening credit crisis. Dow Jones industrials futures plunged 282 points ahead of the opening bell in New York.
Frozen credit markets and a loss of confidence in the world's financial system have caused the Dow to drop 21 percent in just 10 trading days. The blue chip index tumbled 678 points Thursday, and is heading to its worst weekly point drop, and one of its biggest weekly percentage drops, since being created 112 years ago.
"Momentum is running against the market and you don't want to get hit by a train," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank. "This is now about market psychology. There's extreme fear and panic out there."
A stream of selling forced exchanges in Austria, Russia and Indonesia to suspend trading, and those that remained opened were hammered. The rout in Australian markets caused traders there to call it "Black Friday."
European stocks sank, with Britain's FTSE-100 down 7.3 percent, German's DAX down 7.7 percent, and France's CAC-40 down 7.5 percent. In Asia, the collapse of Japan's Yamato Life Insurance caused already nervous investors to pull even more money out of the market — the Nikkei 225 fell 9.6 percent.
See: 'Black Friday' for Overseas Markets