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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The Dow Jones plunged 353 points this morning in direct response to the increasing economic cynicism of investors around the world. At midday, the Dow is down 2.9% overall, with Nasdaq down 3.4%. European markets are feeling the effects of debt problems in Italy and Spain, as stocks are currently down 2%. Earlier today, the Labor Department reported a slight decrease in unemployment applications this week, but economists predict this is simply a stall and will not improve. Investors are selling off their portfolios before the week comes to a close and focusing on gold, Treasury bonds and reliable foreign currencies to protect their wealth. Is this the beginning of a drastic drop in the market? What will it take to get back on the upswing? What are you doing to protect your stocks and investments?
Joanna Ossinger, Stocks Editor for Bloomberg News