US stocks dived in opening trade Wednesday in the wake of European markets, on rising investor worries about Spain's capacity to recapitalize its banks.
The yield on the US Treasury's 10-year bond hit a record low as investors sought safety from Europe's troubles in grappling with a spreading eurozone financial crisis.
There were only second-tier US economic indicators on the calendar and no major company news, leaving investors to contemplate the unfolding drama in the eurozone.
“There is nothing that can be considered bullish news from Europe today, so the bearish news on Spain is (in the) forefront,” said Dick Green at Briefing.com.
“The bottom line is that the mess in Europe remains a mess. There is no consensus across countries on how to address the credit crisis and the political institutions to deal with EU matters are still feeling their way.”
In the first five minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 114.74 points, or 0.91 percent, to 12,465.95.
The S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the markets, fell 13.33 (1.00 percent) to 1,319.09, while the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 32.46 (1.13 percent) to 2,838.53.
The sell-off essentially wiped out Tuesday's gains that had been driven by hopes that China will launch a stimulus program and signs Greece's elections might push through a euro-friendly government. - Sapa-AFP