DOWNTURN

Stocks Plummet on Europe Fears

Stocks fell Tuesday amid fears about Europe’s foundering economy, which has been growing much more slowly than previously thought over the past several months. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a euro-zone economic council to try to calm the chaotic markets, but it didn’t keep American stocks from reacting fearfully. American markets reversed three days of strong gains, falling sharply as the S&P, the Dow and the NASDAQ reacted with disappointment to Merkel and Sarkozy’s proposal.