The stock market slid steadily throughout the morning, and had dropped more than 200 points by the early afternoon, as investors digested a dire warning from Moody’s about European sovereign debt, and the financial and energy sectors registered large losses.
Moody’s appeared unconvinced that Europe could solve its debt problems, and said it will reevaluate ratings at the beginning of next year. European indexes ended the day sharply lower, with the German DAX down 3.4%.
In the U.S., financial, energy and materials stocks were taking a large hit in afternoon trading. The Dow was recently down 238 points, or about 2%. Bank of America (BAC) fell 5%. Coal and oil service stocks tumbled, with Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) falling 12% and Halliburton (HAL) falling 6%.