By Tim Paradis, AP Business Writer , On Thursday February 4, 2010, 9:27 pm EST
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks buckled Thursday under the growing belief that the global economy is weaker than many investors expected and likely to stop companies from hiring. The Dow Jones industrials briefly traded below 10,000 for the first time in three months.
A flood of bad news, including rising debt levels in European nations and an unexpected jump in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits, had investors pulling money out of assets like stocks and commodities that look increasingly risky. Fears of more disappointing news Friday, when the government issues its January employment report, contributed to the slide.