US stocks dive on Dubai financial problems
NEW YORK — US stocks dived Friday as investors confronted the fallout from Dubai’s debt problems that have rocked global markets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 183.35 points (1.75 percent) to 10,281.05 at 1500 GMT.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite slid 44.40 points (2.04 percent) to 2,131.65 and the broad-market Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 22.52 points (2.03 percent) to 1,088.11.
“The Dubai debt debacle will dominate trading today, overshadowing news flowing out of the retail sector regarding Black Friday — the first major barometer of holiday consumer spending,” Briefing.com analysts said in a client note.
Wall Street was closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, when Asian and European markets tumbled on news that Dubai World, the city state’s flagship conglomerate, is seeking a six-month moratorium on repayment of 59 billion dollars in debts.
The Dubai announcement Wednesday sent markets tumbling as investors worried about the exposure of creditors to the state-owned conglomerate.
“The Dubai news is having a ripple effect across world markets as they sharply decline on fears of the worldwide debt crisis restarting,” said Scott Marcouiller of Wells Fargo Advisors.
“We don’t think that is the case, but it is the type of event that can set the market up for a much-needed correction to be followed by a year-end rally,” he said.
Holiday-shortened Wall Street trading closes at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) and volumes are expected to be light as many traders were absent. No economic reports were scheduled for release.
The Dubai grenade rocked Asian markets for a second day, with Hong Kong slumping almost five percent by the close. European markets pared sharp opening losses as investors worldwide weighed the ripple effect of a possible debt default.
“Banking stocks are likely to be heavily targeted… over fears of exposure to Dubai World,” said Joseph Hargett of Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
“The low volume and low volatility following the Thanksgiving holiday may exacerbate any fallout from the Dubai debacle.”
Bonds firmed as investors fled equities. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond dropped to 3.216 percent from 3.279 percent Wednesday and that on the 30-year bond fell to 4.209 percent from 4.238 percent. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.