US Markets Open Significantly Lower

The downgrade is wreaking havoc on U.S. markets.

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Stock markets falter after downgrade. (Getty)

Cezary Podkul of the Washington Post is reporting that stocks opened sharply lower Monday, the first day of trading after the downgrading of the U.S. government's credit rating, extending losses from the worst trading week in more than two years and following the lead of Asian and European markets, which plummeted overnight.

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 3 percent in the first hour of trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, a broader market measure, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq each tumbled nearly 4 percent.

The morning declines furthered last week's already heavy sell-offs, in which the Dow retreated 5.76 percent, the S&P fell 7.19 percent and the Nasdaq tumbled 8.13 percent. They also followed heavy selling Monday in Asia, where major stock markets all closed down more than 1 percent, and continued losses in Europe.

London's key FTSE 100 index was down 1.7 percent, while the Dax in Frankfurt was down 2.4 percent. Stock markets in Madrid and Milan rose briefly, in response to a decision Sunday by the European Central Bank to buy up debt from Italy and Spain. But those gains were soon reversed.

We could go on, but we'll stop here. We suppose this is the way the cookie crumbles when you purposely drive the country into the ground by prolonging a debt-ceiling debate while refusing to impose taxes on the wealthy that would increase revenue. We'll put it in terms that hopefully members of the Tea Party can understand: Just like it's impossible to get credit when your debt-to-income ratio is out of whack, such is the case with the country. When you refuse to approve measures that will increase revenue while approving measures that actually drive up the debt, then your credit rating is affected. Is this really better for the country?

Read more at the Washington Post.

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