It was a horrible day for stock investors around the world, the single worst day for losses in many places since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In Asia, Europe, Latin America and Canada, almost all major stock indices were down by significant amounts.
U.S. exchanges weren't open because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but around the world, the main topic was the U.S. economy. Investors everywhere spoke of a fear that the U.S. is heading for a much deeper recession than previously thought — a recession that might hurt economies all over the world.
Contributing to that sentiment was a lot of bad data in the U.S. last week, says NPR's Adam Davidson. There was news that the housing market continues to get worse; President Bush announced that the economic problems are more severe than he had previously said; and Bush and some leading Democrats presented their suggested solutions to get the U.S. out of the potential recession — proposals that did not impress any of those markets around the world.