The Dow Jones Industrial average fell over 300 points today, over 3%, which wiped out its entire 2011-to-date gains. Why? The Standard & Poor 500 also fell over 3% today, "a 10 percent drop from its April 29 peak and weakest level in nine months." The NY Times says, "The stock market fell sharply Thursday on intensifying investor fears about a slowdown in global economic growth and worries about Europe’s ongoing debt crisis, which is centered now on Italy and Spain."
Some more detail from Bloomberg News: "Concern the global economy may relapse into a recession has driven investors out of stocks and into the relative safety of Treasuries, the Swiss franc and yen and is spurring speculation the Federal Reserve will start another stimulus program. Japan’s moves to sell the yen, which this week neared a post-World War II record, and expand an asset-purchase fund follows efforts by the Swiss central bank to curb the franc’s gains. The European Central Bank resumed bond purchases and offered banks more cash to stem the spread of the debt crisis."
Let the pants-crapping commence.