Nosedive

Global Economy Reels

In its worst day in two years, the Dow closed down 512 points, or 4.3 percent, to 11383.68 Thursday. Markets were spooked by the spending cuts agreed upon in the debt talks and worried over fears of a double-dip recession. Traders dumped stocks before the U.S. government releases its jobs report for July on Friday. The report is expected to show poor growth and a spike in unemployment. There are also concerns about Europe’s continuing debt crisis, which threatens to widen to Italy and Spain. Meanwhile, Asian stock markets fell as fears mounted that the U.S. is headed to recession. In one day, the three major U.S. indexes had erased all of the gains made so far in 2011.