The markets might have opened without a calamitous dip, but that didn't last for long. At midday, both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 were down nearly 3 percent, and the Dow was down more than 230 points. The bad start to this week comes after a rotten five days last week — and that, of course, was even before Standard & Poor's downgraded U.S. bonds. From the Times:
“The rapidity of the decline and its force now rivals almost anything we’ve seen in the post-war era,” said Dan Greenhaus, the chief global strategist for BTIG. “We have fallen so far and so quickly that we are up there with the most vicious sell-offs.”
Wall Street might be exhibiting the symptoms of a sick economy, but they say they're powerless to fix the root causes. “This country has an economic problem, which can only be fixed with jobs, not governmental liquidity, and that is the one that worries me the most,” Kevin Giddis of Morgan Keegan & Company told the paper.
Gold reached its highest levels yet ($1,700 plus) today, while the dollar didn't fare quite so well. But other measures of the U.S.'s economic strength did: Ironically, U.S. treasuries were one of the bright spots in the markets this morning; with stocks tanking, global investors shifted cash into the bonds, making it clear that despite S&P's pronouncement, treasuries are still considered a safe bet by plenty. "Double-A plus is the de facto triple-A," one investor told the Wall Street Journal. And red is the new black?