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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Stocks Plunge at Open

Stocks tumbled Friday morning as fears of a recession continued to spread among investors and world markets were gutted by a wave of selling overseas.

The Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 550 points, the maximum daily price change, triggering a halt in selling of stock future contracts. At 10:20 a.m., the Dow was down 350 points.

Quarterly earnings have been poor so far, with profit warnings coming thick and fast across all industries.

With panic setting in, big hedge funds and other institutional investors have been pulling their money out of the markets in order to reduce their exposure to risk. At the same time, individual investors are pulling their money out of mutual funds, intensifying the downward pressure on the markets.

--Kim Hart

By Kim Hart  |  October 24, 2008; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Next: White House: "It will take time for conditions to settle."

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