Stocks opened sharply lower on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 300 points -- and dropping below 11,000 -- just a day after its biggest gain since 2009.
World stocks were mixed ahead of Wall Street’s opening bell. Asian markets rose slightly. Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 2.3 percent. European stocks fell, with the FTSE 100 down 0.1 percent ahead of the U.S. open.
The Dow plunged over 600 points on Monday in the first trading session since Standard & Poor’s announced it was cutting the United States’ top AAA credit rating.
Things turned around Tuesday after the Federal Reserve vowed to keep its interest rates near zero through mid-2013 at a policy-setting meeting on Tuesday. The central bank hinted at future action, saying it had considered the “policy tools” available to it and “is prepared to employ these tools as appropriate.” Stocks surged in a late afternoon rally.
The monetary policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee put forth an undeniably darker view of the economic recovery, calling growth this year “considerably slower than the committee had expected.”