Dow Plummets Again Amid Unemployment Fears

By Nicole Bode on May 20, 2010 12:36pm | Updated on May 20, 2010 7:06pm

Traders gather on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the last day stocks plummeted, May 6, 2010.
Traders gather on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the last day stocks plummeted, May 6, 2010.
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AP/Henny Ray Abrams

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

MANHATTAN — The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted again Thursday amid bad U.S. jobs numbers, another round of fears over Europe’s debt crisis, and word that the U.S. Senate passed legislation to reign in Wall Street.

The Dow fell 376 points, or about 3.6 percent, by the closing bell. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also saw losses of more than 3 percent.

“There is no sector that is being spared,” head equity trader at BNY ConvergEx Group Anthony Conroy told the New York Times. “You have heard the phrase flight to quality? We are having a flight to liquidity. Everybody is trying to get liquid. Gold, oil, silver, financials — every sector is getting hit.”

Plummeting investor confidence came as the U.S. Labor Department released the latest unemployment numbers, which showed 25,000 more people claimed unemployment benefits last week. Unemployment claims are now at 471,000 a week, hitting a three-month high, the Associated Press reported.

Wall Street was also unsettled by news of the Senate's passing a financial reform bill. The measure seeks to more closely regulate hedge funds and other financial markets, as well as create a procedure to liquidate failing companies with minimal risk to taxpayers.

The Dow has fallen nine out of the past 12 days, the AP reported. On May 6, the Dow plunged 1,000 points, reportedly triggered by a "fat finger" trader error in which an extra zero bumped up the desired trade amount from millions into billions.

Over the week, the Dow was down 6 percent, the New York Post reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the euro was "in danger," as the country moved to ban short-selling, BBC news reported.

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