Global markets crashing
"Stocks plunged in Germany, Hong Kong and India, and U.S. index futures dropped on mounting speculation that the global economy is slowing and company defaults will rise.
"Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell the most since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and sank into a bear market, as Allianz SE and BNP Paribas SA slid. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index had its biggest drop in six years after BNP Paribas said Bank of China Ltd. may write down overseas securities by $4.8 billion because of losses from U.S. subprime mortgages.
"The MSCI World Index slipped 2.3 percent to 1,405.28 at 12:43 p.m. in London, extending its decline from an Oct. 31 record to 16 percent. India's Sensitive Index lost the most since 2004, while Germany's DAX slid the most since March 2003. Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index sank 4.3 percent. Trading in the U.S. is closed today for Martin Luther King Day.
"It's the worst I've ever seen," said Johan Stein, who helps manage the equivalent of about $14 billion at Nordea Asset Management in Stockholm. 'The financial system is in terrible shape, and no one knows where this will end."
UPDATE (showing global market losses by country):
U.S. Dow futures were recently off by a bit more than 500 points.