A series of downgrades in the financial sector as well as the automotive industry sent the markets reeling with the Dow plummeting 256 points to 11,556. Nasdaq skidded 68 points to 2333.
On the upside
Rising gold prices lifted shares of Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC) and Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM).
Shares of Smith & Wesson (NYSE: SWHC) rose after the Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision affirming a citizen's constitutional right to possess hand guns for self defense.
On the downsideAgria (NYSE: GRO) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter of 2007 as well as the first quarter of 2008 while 2007 full year earnings dropped.
OshKosh (NYSE: OSK) warned of a third quarter loss as the economy weakens.
Goldman Sachs analyst Patrick Archambault downgraded auto supplier Lear (NYSE: LEA) due to the troubled auto industry.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 17 points to 700.