Global markets tank on Argentina debt default, other fears

The New_York_Stock_Exchange - Photo by Jean-Christophe BENOIST

Financial markets went into a tailspin Thursday after Argentina defaulted on its debt, raising fears among skittish investors already fretting over weak corporate earnings growth, rising interest rates and an aging bull market.

Argentina’s blue chip Merval Index was among the biggest losers, sinking 7% — the equivalent of a 1,000-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Dow sank more than 300 points to 16,577 before recovering a bit with 15 minutes left in the trading session. Still, the 1.8% drop is the blue chip barometer’s third-biggest daily decline this year.

Broader averages were also hit hard. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.9% to 1,931, a six-week low. The Nasdaq lost 2.1% to 4,373 and the Russell 2000 was off 2% to 1,121.

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