The Standard & Poor's 500 Index retreated 3.9 percent, extending the worst weekly slump since 2001. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 370 points, led by plunges in Alcoa Inc., Boeing Co. and Walt Disney Co. Both gauges pared declines of more than 7.7 percent in the final hour as traders increased bets on a Federal Reserve interest rate cut. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed for the biggest loss in its 21-year history and exchanges in Russia and Brazil halted trading. Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index had its steepest decline since 1987.
Canadian stocks had their steepest drop since ``Black Monday'' of October 1987, as commodity producers plunged on concern their profits will be hurt by a global recession.The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index fell 5.7 percent to 10,193.28 at 3:33 p.m. in Toronto and earlier slid 11 percent for its biggest intraday drop since Oct. 19, 1987.
Emerging markets were particularly hard hit. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slumped 11 per cent, its largest daily decline since 1987. Trading was temporarily stopped in some major emerging economies, including Russia, where the market fell by just over 19 per cent, and Brazil, where stocks fell as much as 15 per cent.
Brazilian stocks plunged the most in a decade on concern the global credit crisis and economic slowdown will reduce demand for commodities and hurt the earnings outlook. An index of Latin American shares tumbled the most ever. The Bovespa fell 12 percent to 39,018.35 at 1:52 p.m. New York time, heading for the biggest drop since September 1998.
National benchmark indexes sank in all 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 slumped 8.13 percent, and Germany's DAX fell 7.39 percent. U.K. stocks plummeted, heading for their lowest close in almost four years, led by banks and mining companies on concern the credit-crisis is deepening and as metals prices plunged. FTSE 100 dropped 7.9 percent, the most in 20 years.
Australian stocks fell, dragging the benchmark index to the lowest in almost three years, on concern the credit crisis will slow global growth and curb demand for raw materials as it spreads to Europe. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 3.3 percent to 4,540.40 at the close in Sydney, the lowest since Nov. 9, 2005.
Japan's stocks dropped, driving the Topix index below 1,000 points for the first time since December 2003, after the global credit crisis deepened in Europe and the yen jumped, cutting the value of overseas sales. The Topix fell 48.92, or 4.7 percent, to close at 999.05 in Tokyo. Only 93 of 1,714 members included in the index rose. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 465.05, or 4.3 percent, to 10,473.09.
China's stocks fell, giving the benchmark index its biggest loss in seven weeks, as commodity prices slumped amid concerns the global credit crisis is widening. China's CSI 300 Index fell 5.1 percent, as trading resumed after a one-week holiday.
India's stock benchmark slumped to its lowest in more than two years as the credit crisis deepened in Europe reinforcing concern the global economy will slow. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, tumbled 724.62 points, or 5.8 percent, to 11,801.70, the lowest since Sept. 12, 2006.