Markets dive as worries about European debt spread

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Global investors’ fears about a potential full-blown government debt crisis in Europe fueled a massive rush for safety on Thursday, driving stocks, commodities and other assets sharply lower.

European stock markets ended the day off at least 2%, and some fared far worse: The Spanish stock market plummeted nearly 6%, Portugal’s market dived 5% and Italy’s sank 3.5%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 213 points, or 2.1%, to 10,057 at about 10:25 a.m. PST, hurt by Europe’s plunge and by a surprising rise in new claims for unemployment benefits. The claims data are spooking market bulls ahead of Friday’s government report on January employment.

Full story: European debt woes send global markets diving – Los Angeles Times