Stocks Tumble on New Economy Data

The markets are at it again: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 400 points Thursday and the S&P 500 fell nearly 5 percent, pushed down by a slew of negative economic data. U.S. unemployment applications rose more than expected last week, consumer prices are up, and Japan reported dismal export data. The combination of rising prices and tepid employment, analysts say, makes it harder for the Fed to take stimulative measures to boost the economy. A bright spot, again, was gold, which rose to a staggering and record price of $1,822 per ounce. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley warned that the global economy is "dangerously close" to a recession, and European sell-off is at a rate not seen since the crisis three years ago.