stock market fallsStocks fell sharply Tuesday as investors fled riskier assets following an exchange of artillery fire between North and South Korea over a disputed maritime border region. The sound of canons sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) to a steep triple-digit plunge, while the safety trade boosted gold, the dollar and Treasurys.

The blue-chip Dow fell 141 points, or 1.3%, to close at 11,037 with energy and materials stocks taking the brunt of the selling, given their sensitivity to Asian emerging-market growth. Alcoa (AA), Exxon Mobile (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) were among the Dow's worst performing shares.

The broader S&P 500 ($INX) lost 17 points, or 1.4%, to finish at 1,181. All 10 sectors of the S&P declined, led by energy and basic materials. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) tumbled 37 points, or 1.5%, to 2,495.

Also weighing on equities was a more pessimistic view on the recovery from the Federal Reserve. Fed officials cut their outlook for economic growth through this year and next, minutes from the last policy meeting revealed. The central bank sees 2010 economic growth coming in at 2.4% to 2.5%, down from a prior forecast of 3% to 3.5%. GDP in 2011 is now seen increasing 3% to 3.6%, down from a prior outlook of 3.5% to 4.2%

"This Was No Missile Test"

European debt fears also weighed on Tuesday's trading, but the main force behind the sell-off was the deadly clash in Korea. North Korea fired more than 100 artillery shells onto a South Korean border island, killing two marines and wounding 18 others in an attack that prompted the South to return fire and put its military on its highest alert.

"Lingering concerns over the Irish debt issue. . .and heightened military tensions between the two Koreas (this was no missile test -- bullets were fired for the first time since the war nearly six decades ago) are undercutting the risk-on trade," David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, told clients in a note.

The flight to safety lifted the dollar and gold as it punished stocks and oil. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, spiked 1.3% to a two-month high..

Gold futures finished up $18, or 1.3%, to $1,375 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (CME). Benchmark crude oil futures declined 26 cents, or 0.3%, to $81.46 a barrel on the Comex. Treasurys also benefited from the flight to safety, as the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury hit 2.76%, a level not seen for more than a week. (Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.)

Heightened geopolitical risks eclipsed some encouraging economic news at home. The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster pace in the third quarter than previously estimated, helped by improvements in consumer spending and overseas sales of U.S. goods. Third-quarter GDP was revised upward to a 2.5% annual rate from an initial reading last month of 2%.

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Keep you both eyes on Silver and Gold and Pladdium it MIGHT make its historic run like crazy UP. with all this tension going on in the world for now. Silver i know will go up and maybe even double threw your investment if you bought it at EVEN 20 bucks a oz., could be a good payday for a lot of LITTLE investors holding on to all those silver coins, and bars.

November 24 2010 at 5:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

all ready the giant retailers are EATING some of the higher cost, so there stock holders won,t get shakky and run. But that will not last for long they can,t be eating a few million bucks a week for long, if they pass it to the tags on there goods they will not SELL merchandise, between the starting of a POSSIBLE war between the USA and N,Korean and yes i did say the USA because if we send massive troops and ships there and USE them it is a war beween them and us in the USA, the stockmarket will TUMBLE into a CRASH like no other, and china holding thousands of tons of silver,copper,mag.,and other metals, that are used for war time stuff, and being a known shipper of goods to China that will feed there war machine. CAN YOU SAY WE THE USA ARE IN A WORLD OF ****, and that is not including Iran chimimng in on this whole thing and Russia also. Our goverment better use the head on this one and get it right or we will be ALL BOUWING TO THE NEW ENPEROR OF THE USA.

November 24 2010 at 5:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting tired of these media ******** that try to incite panic by exagerating stories. In this particulat instance, the AOL people tell us the market plunged today. Look up the definition of plunge and tell me if you think approximately 1 percent is a plunge. If your child gets an 87 on his of her test, but the previous test the child got an 88, did their score plunge? Remember, the people who write these stories are only doing it because they want recognition. So they'll misrepresnt the facts in hopes of getting someone to read their words.

November 24 2010 at 2:56 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stcitizen's comment

The market is not a childs report card one little divet in the market counts for millions of bucks, all around the world and especially in peoples 401k plans, and it indicates the fears of the world finances People should not be in the dark .. because in the dark with the loans and housing crooked banking IS WHAT GOT ALL OF US INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PALCE.

November 24 2010 at 5:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Don"t worry folks the government wont let them big bankers fail with your money! If they blow your money their covered either way unlike the rest of us!

November 24 2010 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A "retreat" in in stocks seem a bit ironic considering the US economy virtually thrives on war and the billions let in Pentagon contracts to weapons merchants and bankers.

November 24 2010 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another foolish war between the North and the South. Brother killing brother. Relatives killing relatives. It seems rather pointless except for a differing of political ideologies. I'm sure America just can't wait to jump into another war. America's got nothing better to do than get a chance to test and use some new tactical weapons. I'd sure hate to see the N.K.s rolling into soul with tanks. I guess Korea's unification is nothing but a dream that's unlikely to become true. Too bad.

November 24 2010 at 1:03 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I hope the hostility of both Koreas gets hotter to sink stocks all the way down to the cornhole!

November 24 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

The Euro is lower against the dollar. Stocks are down. Why is oil going higher? All the analysis we get from the news is nonsense.

November 23 2010 at 10:46 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Stocks fell Tuesday as investors fretted about the outcome of Dancing With Stars.....come on people! North Korea is a failed regime waiting to collapse. Remember Saddam's super elite Republican Guard? They ran screaming toward US troops to surrender the day we invaded. Same thing will happen in NK if they are stupid enough to escalate this incident. Fire one more shot and it is over for them. How in the world are our markets really concerned about this? Any excuse to fail...right? Let's all follow the market optimism and aspire to the minimum, shall we?

November 23 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Thank tgdwill for clarifying. I wasn't sure. As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, While they paid a terrible price, I still have no doubt we did the right thing. The Japanese would have not surrendered without that suffering.

November 23 2010 at 9:40 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply