Bank of America Corp. slumped 7.7 percent after selling shares at a discount to shore up capital. Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, slid 13 percent as a reduction in manufacturing caused by the credit crisis left the company with earnings that trailed analyst estimates. Russia, Indonesia, Ukraine and Romania shut their exchanges and Brazil's benchmark index fell to the lowest level in two years in the worst week for emerging markets in at least two decades.
The S&P 500 swung between gains and losses at least 20 times today, ending down 12.05 points, or 1.2 percent, at 984.18, its lowest since August 2003. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 194.26, or 2.1 percent, to 9,252.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 0.8 percent to 1,740.33. Five stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Canadian stocks were the only winner of global interest rate cuts. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index rose 2.3% percent to 10,055.20.
Brazilian stocks fell for a fifth day, led by pulp producers and utilities, on concern the weaker real will reduce earnings and interest-rate cuts by six central banks won't prevent the global economy from entering a recession. The Bovespa index slid 947.78, or 2.36 percent, to 39,192.07 at the close.
European equities failed to hold gains inspired by a co-ordinated emergency interest rate cut from the world’s leading central banks on Wednesday. Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax shed 6.25 per cent to 4,993.60, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 6.65 per cent to 3,484.12.
U.K stocks failed to hold gains inspired by a co-ordinated emergency interest rate cut by the world’s leading central banks on Wednesday, with resource stocks exerting pressure on the index amid concern about the outlook for global economic growth. The FTSE 100 closed 238 points lower at 4,366.7, a loss of 5.2 per cent. The FTSE 250, seen as more representative of the domestic UK economy, was 3.1 per cent weaker at 7,200.9.
Asian stocks tumbled earlier, driving the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to its biggest drop since October 1987, on concern the credit crisis will topple more banks and slowing growth will cut demand for exports. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 7.4 percent to 91.42 as of 7:39 p.m. in Tokyo, the biggest drop since April 2, 1990, and bringing its decline this year to 42 percent. Financial stocks contributed the most to the index's drop.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 9.4 percent to 9,203.32, the most since global markets crashed in October 1987. Toyota Motor Corp. slumped after Nikkei English News said profit may drop and after the dollar slumped versus the yen.
The Hang Seng tumbled 8.2 percent as Hong Kong's monetary authority cut interest rates in an effort to keep the credit crisis from spreading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 5 percent as consumer confidence fell the most in two years.
Indian stocks fell, with the benchmark Sensitive Index at a two-year low, on concern the credit crisis will topple more banks and slow global growth. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 366.88, or 3.137 percent.
Russian authorities closed the Micex Stock Exchange for two days as a new $36 billion injection into the banking system by President Dmitry Medvedev failed to halt the country's biggest stock collapse since 1998. The Micex Index plunged for a sixth day, falling 14 percent to 637.87, the lowest level in more than three years, before trading was halted at 11:05 a.m. in Moscow.